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Floods swamp capital

A man attempts to push his scooter through floodwaters near the Olympic Stadium
A man attempts to push his scooter through floodwaters near the Olympic Stadium yesterday morning in Phnom Penh after heavy rain inundated a number of areas in the capital. Hong Menea

Floods swamp capital

A torrential downpour that lasted over three hours yesterday morning has left many in the capital struggling with flooded houses, businesses and travel conditions, sparking outcry that authorities have not done enough to manage the rain’s effects.

Hang Dara, a motorbike repairman in Boeung Keng Kang, said his bike broke down because of floods that were “almost waist-deep”.

Around 50 people involved in the long-running Boeung Kak land conflict blockaded the street in front of City Hall yesterday morning and evening, asking authorities to pump water out of their areas.

But the city ignored their problems, said Boeung Kak activist Song Srey Leap.

Flooding took place in virtually every district in Phnom Penh and could not have been predicted, said city spokesman Long Dimanche, adding that the protesters should have helped mitigate the effects of the rain instead of protesting.

“They should help to restore the sewage systems with the authorities, not gather to protest,” he said.

But independent analyst Kem Ley said the flooding was largely caused by the authorities who did not manage the sewage system properly.

Some also took to Facebook to criticise the government for allowing companies to fill in lakes like Boeung Kak and Boeung Tumpuon, which used to act as release areas for excess rainwater.

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