With the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology forecasting adverse weather conditions and strong winds from January 4, security forces in coastal areas have been put on alert to provide protection for fisherman, residents and tourists.
The ministry said on January 3 that coastal provinces, the central lowlands and upland areas would receive light-to-medium rain with medium-to-high waves at sea brought by a high pressure system from China and the northeast monsoon.
Citing the forecast from the Ministry of Water Resources, Kep provincial governor Som Piseth said weather changes in coastal areas could bring rain along with moderate to strong winds from January 4-10.
With this likely to result in high waves, the situation required people to exercise caution, particularly those who worked on or lived by the sea.
Having had long experience in organising security forces and issuing safety equipment to protect people from natural disasters, he added, coastal authorities had instructed fishermen and tourists travelling by sea to remain vigilant as high rains and winds had been forecast.
“We have many mechanisms already in place, including the 430 Battalion of the Water Border Defence Police stationed on the islands of Koh Ach Seh, Koh Po and Koh Karang.
“Additionally, the Fisheries Administration, which guards against fishing offences, is also well placed to ensure local fishermen are instructed to remain vigilant,” Piseth said.
Preah Sihanouk deputy provincial governor Long Dimanche said that with the province also at risk of storms and heavy rain, authorities regularly made preparations for prevention and containment.
“Every time we receive a weather forecast from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, the provincial administration always provides instruction for residents – we always intervene should high winds and waves threaten,” Dimanche said.
The provincial administration always instructed water border police and fishermen to stop going out to sea when dangerous weather conditions were forecast, he added.
“As we remain prepared to ensure people’s safety both on water and on land, we have instructed authorities at all levels to prepare the food, medicine and manpower necessary to do so,” he said.
Long Dimanche added that while the January 4 weather forecast was concerning, the authorities were prepared, with rescue equipment including life jackets and rescue boats issued and on hand.
In late 2022, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep provinces were all affected by high winds, with hundreds of homes damaged.