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Garment workers injured in floods

FIVE garment workers, including two pregnant women, were severely injured when flooding caused electrical boxes to explode in Kandal province’s Takhmao district yesterday, a rights worker said.

Men Makara, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said the explosion of the electrical boxes forced workers to break down the doors of the Yong Var garment factory to escape, and that one of the women was injured on the way out.

Factory officials could not be reached yesterday.
“We are now very concerned about the two pregnant women who were injured by the explosion, especially the woman who is eight months pregnant with twins and was seriously wounded when she fell down following the explosion,” Men Makara said, and added that the workers were sent to a clinic in Phnom Penh for treatment.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday called on all Cambodians to be aware of the dangers posed by nationwide floods.

Ung Rina, deputy director of the Water Resources and Meteorology Department at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said yesterday that the ministry believed that heavy rainfall would continue until at least October 18.

The flooding, which began on Sunday, was caused by low atmospheric pressure affecting lowland areas – including Phnom Penh – as well as Kampong Speu, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces, according to a ministry statement issued Monday.

Keo Vy, director of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said yesterday that flooding had affected 13 provinces, and that three people had drowned – one each in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh.

“We are doing a report about the floods now, but we do not have any specific data yet,” he added.

The drowning case in the capital involved a 4-year-old boy who was found dead on Monday afternoon in Meanchey district’s Boeung Salang lake.

On Tuesday, Kampong Chhnang provincial police chief Ath Khen said two men were killed since Sunday – one struck by lightning, and another who drowned.

In Preah Sihanouk province, deputy police chief Yin Bun Nath said on Tuesday that the body of a Cambodian fisherman was discovered near the island of Koh Takeav.

“The body has now been sent to his family in Kampot province,” he said on Wednesday. “We hope no more people are missing in the province.”

Kampong Speu provincial police chief Keo Pisey said yesterday that two people were reported dead there on Tuesday, but no deaths have been reported since.

“The two people were killed by electrical shocks when a power line collapsed into water due to strong winds on Tuesday,” he said.

In Pursat, deputy provincial governor Khov Sokha said yesterday that a total of four districts had been affected by the floods, with more than 1,000 hectares of rice fields suffering damage. He said a 2-kilometre stretch of road was flooded, one bridge was destroyed and more than 50 houses had collapsed.

“I am now very worried about people’s health and their property,” he said. “I think if the rain continues for the next few days it will destroy rice fields and other infrastructure in the province.”

In Takeo, Seng Sam Ol, a provincial police official, said four villages had been flooded, as well as “hundreds” of hectares of rice plantations.
“But no people have been reported missing or dead in Takeo province,” he said.

Thoun Sem, a fishing community representative in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district, said on Wednesday that 20 fishermen reported missing since Sunday after their boats sank had been found and returned to their homes.



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