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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government warns villagers to watch for flash flooding

Government warns villagers to watch for flash flooding

Water levels are rising earlier than last year along upper stretches of the Mekong River, higher floods anticipated

RIVERS ON THE RISE

Warnings should be issued on the upper Mekong when water levels reach the

following heights:

  • Stung Treng 10.70m
  • Kratie 22.00m
  • Kampong Cham 15.20m
  • Phnom Penh 10.50m

THE Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has warned residents living along the upper stretches of the Mekong River to stay vigilant for flash flooding and prepare to flee quickly to higher ground.

Mao Hak, director of the Department of Hydrology and Water Works, said three notifications of rising waters had already been issued to people in Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces.

"Based on our forecast, the water levels this year will be a little bit higher than last year," he told the Post on Thursday.

"Residents in Phnom Penh have no need for concern, but residents along the upper Mekong need to be alert at all times as the water level can change very quickly."

Mao Hak said the current flood forecast is still tentative, as the wet season is setting in. An official forecast is scheduled for release in late September.

He also said that readings taken at provincial river stations on Thursday showed river levels in Stung Treng at 9.25m, in Kratie at 20.33m, in Kampong Cham at 14.38m and in Phnom Penh at 8.71m.

Ath Samang, a fisherman in Kandal province's Muk Kampol district whose riverside home regularly fills with water, said he has noticed the Mekong gaining greater depth earlier than usual this year.

He said he has already hauled his belongings uphill to his wet season storage shelter.

"When there is more water, it is more difficult for my family to move around, but it's good for me too because there will be more fish in my nets," Ath Samang said.

Uy Sam Ath, director of disaster management for the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), said his department has 100 tonnes of rice on hand for flood victims and each Mekong province CRC office has about five tonnes ready for quick distribution.

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