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Authorities preparing for potential flood disasters

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Residents’ houses affected by floods in Sre Ambel district, Koh Kong proviunce on July 31. POLICE

Authorities preparing for potential flood disasters

Authorities in the coastal regions and on the Thai border are monitoring weather conditions closely, noting that intervention forces are on standby to provide rescue to any residents who may be affected by flooding.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology announced on July 31 that the effects of a large low pressure system in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone will lead to heavy rain in the Mekong Basin.

“This will cause Mekong River water levels to rise in the next three to four days, especially in the upper parts of Cambodia, including Stung Treng province, where the water level could reach 7.65m. It may reach as high as 16.7m in Kratie and 9.9m in Kampong Cham province,” it said.

The ministry cautioned that although the rising water levels had not reached the alert stage, there may be some flooding in low-laying areas along the river and canals.

Local authorities are watching the situation closely, and are prepared to offer assistance should it be required.

Kep governor Som Piseth described the floodwaters in the province as receding, as there had been no heavy rains for several days. He said the floods had affected more than 9,000 households across the province, but no loss of life had been reported.

“We have prepared a reaction force, including health officials who can provide medical treatment, as well as specialised equipment including boats and inflatable rafts, so we are well prepared for any further flooding,” he added.

Separately, Battambang provincial deputy governor Soeum Bunrith said that floodwaters in Samlot district have also receded since the seven communes of the district suffered the heavy rains of July 29 to 31. He warned that the level of the Sangker River in the upper part of Samlot and Ta Tork communes is rising, but has not yet reached people’s homes.

He noted that district administration and local armed forces have instructed local residents and authorities to stand ready to intercede should further flooding occur.

Soth Kimkolmony, a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, explained that several national and provincial roads in the Kingdom’s coastal and upland provinces had been damaged by a series of heavy rainfalls which began on July 27.

He said National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk province had been closed, and many houses in Kampot province, including in Teuk Chhou and Kampong Trach districts and the provincial town, had been flooded.

“The flooding in Kampot province has affected 4,408 households. A total of 1,055 houses and four schools have been damaged. The authorities rescued 41 people. More significantly, four people are dead and one is missing. Two people have also been reported injured,” he added.

In Koh Kong province, flash flooding has affected two communes of Thma Bang district. In Kep, the floods also affected the provincial town and Damnak Changaur district, said Kimkolmony.

“National and provincial committees have already prepared plans and means to respond to any disasters. There are many mechanisms in place,” he said, calling on the authorities and the public alike to pay close heed to the weather forecasts issued by the meteorology ministry.


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