Four dead in Preah Sihanouk, Ratanakkiri flooding in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - Flooding in Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakkiri provinces has affected thousands of families and at least four people have died, following recent heavy thunderstorms.

At least four people have died and thousands of families affected by
flooding in Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakkiri provinces following recent
heavy thunderstorms.

Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesperson Kheang Phearum said on Sunday
that a Cambodian husband and wife were killed on Thursday when a
concrete fence collapsed at the construction site they were working on.

He said a Chinese national who was a brick factory supervisor was
also killed on Friday when another fence collapsed due to flood water in
Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune.

Phearum said the authorities had sent the bodies of the Cambodian couple to their hometown in Tbong Khmum province.

Provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun said all available forces were on standby to help save citizens from flooding.

“We must not leave anyone in trouble without being rescued,” he said.

In Ratanakkiri province, a 15-year-old girl drowned after a ferry
sank in Lumphat district on Friday. Her body was found the same day. The
victim was identified as Ra Rachna, a student of Lumphat Secondary
School.

More than 2,180 families have suffered due to flooding in the
province’s Lumphat and Kon Mom districts and along the Sre Pok and Sesan
rivers. Paddy fields and other crops, livestock, schools and roads have
all been affected.

Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha told
The Post on Sunday that two more storms are expected this week as a
low-pressure system moves across northern Laos and Vietnam, while the
southwest monsoon continues to have a strong influence on coastal areas.

He said coastal provinces, especially Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk,
will continue to experience heavy rainfall, while strong winds and high
waves are expected at sea.

Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and
Oddar Meanchey provinces will see medium rainfalls this week, Yutha
said, while Phnom Penh and Kampong Speu, Takeo and Kandal provinces are
expected to experience light to medium rainfall.

Preah Sihanouk spokesperson Phearum said rain was continuing to fall
and water levels were still rising in some areas of Sihanoukville but
there is not yet a state of emergency.

Some roads in Prey Nop district remained impassable, he said, while
measures to release floodwaters from the city – such as restoring and
digging canals – continue to be taken.

Koh Kong provincial deputy governor and spokesman Sok Sothy said
water had flowed down hillsides over the past two or three days onto
National Road 48 where it meets National Road 4.

He said rocks had fallen onto the road near Doung village’s Tatai
bridge, but as in Sihanoukville, the provincial authorities in
cooperation with the district authorities were using machinery to dig
canals to help the water recede and return traffic to normal.

Sothy said rain was continuing to fall but was not as strong as on
Saturday. All districts have seen flooding, he said, but Koh Kong and
Mondul Seima districts were worst hit – although there have been no
serious problems.

He said the total number of villagers affected had not yet been
established as the authorities were rescuing them and evacuating people
to higher ground first.

Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman Yutha said
heavy rainfall in the Mekong Basin, especially in Laos, Thailand and
Vietnam, has caused the level of the Mekong River to increase slightly,
but not yet severely.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy could not
be reached for comment about the number of affected villagers on
Sunday.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said on Sunday that a ministry
working group had brought medical equipment and nearly two thousand
insecticide-treated mosquito nets to Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakiri
provinces.

“We and the medical team have provided free medical treatment and
supplies to people affected by the floods in both provinces. We made
many announcements to help people prepare for floods.

“Fortunately, the flooding in Ratanakkiri has subsided somewhat. We
continue to meet villagers and the most important thing is to provide
them with healthcare and instruction in various ways they can help
themselves,” he said.

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