We are worried about our temple...we did not see the Apsara Authority officials paying attention
The death toll from nationwide floods yesterday rose to 105 people, new government statistics revealed. The near month-long catastrophe has also threatened some 200,000 hectares of rice paddies.
Chief of Cabinet at the National Committee for Disaster Management Keo Vy confirmed yesterday that eight more people had died since the latest official count.
“There were 39 people who died [so far] in Prey Veng province and 32 people who died in Kampong Cham province,” he said.
Water levels on all of Cambodia’s major rivers have begun to recede but an estimated 200,000 hectares of paddies remain flooded, he added.
Torrential downpours also continue to be a problem with rain failling on water-logged ground and, in some cases, contributing to deaths.
A 28-year-old mother and her two daughters – aged nine and six - drowned after their boat sank in a storm on Wednesday morning in Banteay Menchey’s Mongkol Borei district, acting district police chief Mai Sokha said yesterday.
The woman’s husband was able to save their two-year-old son, but couldn’t help his wife or daughters.
The family had been inspecting damage to their rice fields, about 1.5 kilometres from their home.
“We really pity the victim’s family as they lost many members all at one time,” he said, adding authorities had been broadcasting flood warnings but not all residents had headed their advice.
Concerns have also been raised over the affect of floods on Siem Reap, where yesterday officials estimated that flood waters rose by 100 millimetres in the city and 300 millimetres in the badly-affected Banteay Srei district.
Water levels were set to rise again in Siem Reap late yesterday, Noun Krissna, chairman of the provincial department of water resources, said.
Rong Chhun, a representative of the Cambodia Watchdog Council, added that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen expressing concern that unfettered tourist access to temples threatened by the floods in the Angkor Wat complex could damage the sacred ruins.
“We are worried about our temples, that’s why we decided to send the letter,” he said.
“Even though our temples are flooded … we did not see the Apsara Authority officials paying attention to this activity or prohibiting the tourists from entering the temples.”
Tourist access to Banteay Srei, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prom and Neak Pean temples all remained unrestricted yesterday, director general of the Apsara Authority Bun Narith confirmed.
“Tourists are welcome to visit all the temples in Siem Reap even though some have been flooded inside,” he said, adding that officials had begun pumping water out of the temples.
Authorities would also soon repair a bridge near the Neak Pean temple that had collapsed due to the floods, he added.