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Focus now on flood’s aftermath

With the floodwaters receding following weeks of heavy rains, the National Committee for Disaster Management met with officials from 20 provinces on Friday to determine the scale of the devastation and begin planning the cleanup.

Nhem Vanda, a deputy chairman of the NCDM, said yesterday that while floodwater levels had begun to fall, it would take a long time to rebuild damaged infrastructure.

“The flood damage this year looks like [Typhoon] Ketsana.… What we have to do next is report the total damage and costs to restore the provinces that have suffered serious damage, such as Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Pailin,” Vanda said.

According to the NCDM, 152 people have died in the flooding this year in 20 provinces. Another 1.7 million have been affected, with more than 27,000 families forced to evacuate.

Battambang Deputy Governor Ouy Ry said his province was one of the worst hit, with at least 17 people reported dead.

“The authorities have started to rebuild the damaged [property] after the flood began to recede … so residents can live easily again,” he said.

Om Metry, deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey, said some areas of the province were still under water.

“Some of the evacuated people have not yet gone back to their houses, because we need the water to go down completely,” he said.

The NCDM on Wednesday launched a disaster management database in an attempt to coordinate efforts between the authorities and aid organisations. The Disaster Loss Database (CamDi) is a repository of information on a range of disasters, which officials hope can both help with recovery and also enable better planning.

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