rising water levels on the Mekong River may cause widespread flooding in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces that could last until Friday, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology warned yesterday.
Mao Hak, deputy director of the department of technical affairs at the ministry, said water levels along the river would continue to increase, potentially inundating acres of rice fields in adjacent provinces.
The flooding has been caused by increased rains in Thailand and Laos which have swelled Mekong water levels downstream in Cambodia, he said.
“Until August 12, Mekong water levels in both provinces will reach the level of caution or emergency,” he said.
The statement came on the heels of a formal announcement delivered on Monday night by Water Minister Lim Kean Hor urging local authorities and residents in the area to take precautions against the rising water levels.
Stung Treng provincial governor Loy Sophat said yesterday that rain was continuing unabated in the province, increasing the severity of flooding. He added he was taking steps to warn people about potential floods.
“I am readying various higher elevation evacuation locations in the villages,” he said. “We are stockpiling food and other materials, including rescue boats to help evacuate residents from severely flooded areas.”
Local fishermen, however, were not as worried.
Thai Virath, 38, a fisherman living in Stung Treng district’s eponymous commune, said: “For me, the Mekong flooding means more water and more opportunities to catch fish.”