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An advertising billboard lies on the road after it was knocked over by strong winds in Siem Reap
An advertising billboard lies on the road after it was knocked over by strong winds in Siem Reap yesterday during an unseasonal storm. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Lights out in Siem Reap as storm downs lines, houses

Though the wet season has yet to completely set in, Siem Reap was hit by a massive storm on Monday afternoon that left 700 houses destroyed, 23 electric poles damaged, and many areas without power.

Deputy Provincial Governor Bun Tharith said the storm hit five communes – Krabei Riel, Teuk Vil, Sra Nge, Kokchak and Leang Dai. A car and four motorbikes were also damaged when two large trees and several billboards were flung into the roads yesterday.

While no one was injured, hundreds of families are living without shelter or staying with their neighbours, Tharith said.

“Authorities have divided into four teams to help villagers repair and rebuild,” he said.

Cambodian Red Cross officials were also deployed yesterday afternoon to hand out aid parcels to the victims, he said.

Keo Sreypov, a 21-year-old university student, recalled how the blue sky had unexpectedly and rapidly grown dark.

“I saw a lot of lightning, and then a heavy rainstorm came. Ten minutes later, the electricity had been cut off from my house,” she said.

The storm caused a power outage in half the city due to downed electrical poles, said Leung Narin, an administrator for Siem Reap Electricity. He said he expects all power to be restored by this morning.
Last month, a storm in Siem Reap left the province with power outages for nearly four days.

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