Floods take heavy toll on six provinces

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The National Committee for Disaster Management said six provinces have been seriously hit by the recent floods, with more than 5,000 families, 3,000ha of paddy fields and properties, roads and schools affected. national police

The National Committee for Disaster Management said six provinces have been seriously hit by the recent floods, with more than 5,000 families, 3,000ha of paddy fields and properties, roads and schools affected.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said on Monday that the worst-hit areas were the eastern provinces of Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri and the coastal provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Kep and Kampot.

The majority of the 5,869 families affected were in Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Ratanakkiri provinces, he said. Of those, 1,342 families have been evacuated. Vy said 19 schools, eight pagodas, 3,119ha of paddy fields and 753ha of other agricultural land had been affected.

“Some of the flooded crops have been destroyed. The rice has not been destroyed because it’s just inundated,” he said, adding that the police, Military Police and army are ready to help those in need.

Some people in Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces have been temporarily evacuated from their homes to safe places, Vy said, and that they were able to take their pets and other important possessions with them.

Others have stayed at home because the flooding has only reached the ground floor, he said.

Vy said most homes in Sihanoukville had been flooded and the authorities had evacuated 295 families from Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district.

He said only a small number of people had been badly affected by flooding in Koh Kong and Kep provinces because the water had been released into canals and the sea.

However, 3,012 families, 286ha of paddy fields and more than 2ha of durian trees in four Kampot districts had been flooded, with 60 families evacuated.

The Konsat dam in Konsat commune in Kampot province’s Teuk Chhou district was breached on Monday but did not cause serious problems.

Kampot provincial governor Cheav Tay said: “We have fixed the dam already, so it does not affect people. “There has been no serious harm from the floods and no one has drowned in Kampot. We warned people in good time and now the flooding is receding.”

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said that more than 100 workers, using some 20 items of heavy machinery, took 20 hours to repair the dam, which has a storage capacity of up to 10 million cubic metres of water.

Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesman Kheang Phearum said the rain had subsided and the flooding had receded. “If there’s no more heavy rain, there will be no more problems. We’re afraid of heavy rain,” he said.

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh called for all military and local authorities to be ready to help anyone affected by the floods.

Yun Phally, the Kampot provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said heavy rain since the beginning of the month, along with the opening of the Kamchay hydropower dam, had caused flooding in four communes in Teuk Chhou district.

At least four people died last week as a result of flooding in Sihanoukville and Ratanakkiri province.