Serious flooding across country

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Village house was inundated in Koh Kong yesterday. Photo Supplied

The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding.

In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were inundated.

In Battambang, the provincial department of agriculture said that, as of Wednesday, 1,100 hectares of paddy fields in Ek Phnom district were seriously affected by flooding.

The Kampong Speu administration called on people to be extra cautious in order to avoid accidents, and asked local authorities at all levels to pay close attention to the vulnerable and children and to carefully monitor water levels in their areas.

The alert said Wednesday’s non-stop rainfall caused water levels to reach 7.3 metres at the province’s Peam Kley pumping station, a level dangerously close to causing the Prek Tnaot river to break its banks and flood a number of nearby areas.

“[A flood here] would impact agricultural land, people’s livelihoods, houses and property, and could affect their health through the spread of diseases,” the announcement states.

However, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman Chan Vutha, said people in the nearby Phnom Sruoch district “should not be overly worried regarding the rainfall” because plans were in place to open canal gates to release water and make room for further rain.

A map shows flooded area in some districts in Cambodia after heavy rains fall down across the kingdom a few days ago. Prepared by Post’s Staff (Than Veasna)

As of Wednesday evening, the skies in Koh Kong remained cloudy, with rain continuing to fall throughout the region, as the ministry predicted further downpours.

Koh Kong governor Mithona Phouthorng said floodwaters in the nearby rivers in Mondol Seima, Koh Kong and Thma Bang districts were already receding, albeit slowly, while water in the Sre Ambel district canal remained at a dangerous level.

Phouthorng said flooding had impacted four districts and inundated more than 350 houses, with Sre Ambel district the worst affected as water levels at the Sre Ambel canal continued to rise on Wednesday evening.

“We evacuated the affected people to higher ground and brought supplies such as tents, and food and water to support them,“ she said.

“Right now we are coordinating with the Committee for Disaster Management and the Cambodian Red Cross to help the victims.”

Battambang Provincial Department of Agriculture director Chhim Serey Vichara told The Post that 1,100 hectares of paddy fields in Ek Phnom district’s Prek Norin and Prek Lahuong communes were seriously affected by the flooding.

He said: We don’t know how long this flooding will last. Generally, paddy can survive in flood water for around a week, after that, it will rot.”

Ek Phnom district governor Mil Sophal said: “Besides paddy fields, 105 houses in the two communes and two polling stations in Prek Norin commune are also flooded.”

Battambang Election Committee director Vorn Porn, said he had sent election officials to check the locations and monitor the flooding situation with a view to relocating the affected polling stations.

Vutha said the heavy rains are forecast to continue until Saturday.

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