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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Flood alert issued, six children drown

Flood alert issued, six children drown

Children play in floodwaters in Siem Reap town on Wednesday. Severe floods hit numerous provinces in Cambodia this week, damaging crops, homes and other property.

She disappeared while she was playing near her house

A high alert was raised by government officials yesterday as flood waters that have reportedly killed six children and one teenager continued to rise on Cambodia’s three largest rivers and the Tonle Sap Lake.

The Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology warned yesterday that water levels on the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and Cambodia’s giant inland lake had surpassed alert levels.

“The people who are living along the Mekong, Tonle Sap, Bassac and other low lying zones are on high alert for the situation,” the minister said.

In Kampong Thom, where flood waters have begun subsiding, provincial governor Chhun Chhorn warned urgently needed aid could not be delivered to about one-quarter of some 3,000 people who required it.

“Though they are in urgent need, no specific date to provide them with aid has yet been set,” he said.

Chhun Chhorn added that 1,771 families had been evacuated by officials in Prasat Sambor district.

The Ministry of Water forecast water levels would rise above alert levels in Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces in the coming days.

Uy Sam Ath, Director of the Disaster Management Unit at the Cambodian Red Cross, said six people under 12 years of age had drowned in Kampong Thom’s Brasat Sambo and Sandan districts and Stung Sen town since floods began on September 15.

In Siem Reap, the body of 13-year-old girl Ou Srey Nich was found near Krum mountain on Tuesday after she drowned near her house in Vihear Chin village, provincial police chief Mok Som Oun said yesterday.

“She disappeared while she played in the water in a channel near her house. At that time the speed of water was so fast,” the provincial police chief said.

But provincial governor Tep Bun Chhay said yesterday floods had started rapidly subsiding in the tourist town after he ordered officials to widen the Siem Reap river using bulldozers so it could quickly discharge into the Tonle Sap lake.

These actions, combined with the installation of new drainage pipes in the city’s flooded roads, would allow Siem Reap to return to normal by Friday, he said.

Deputy governor Kim Chhay Heang said 45 restaurants, 20 guesthouse, 11 hotels and four markets had been forced to temporarily close because of the floods.

The police chief of Prasat Sambor district in Kampong Thom province said thousands of hectares of inundated rice paddies had been destroyed in the district because floods had yet to subside there.

In Battambang, where floodwaters began receding on yesterday, 3,237 hectares of rice paddy, 1176 hectares of corn, and 110 hectares of other crops have been flooded, Keo Vy, Cabinet Director the
Nation Committee for Disaster Management said.



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