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Ministry urges caution during wet weather

CAMBODIANS living on Tonle Sap Lake and in coastal areas should exercise caution in light of the wet weather that has been hitting the Kingdom this week, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said.

Seth Vannareth, director of the ministry’s Department of Meteorology, said Wednesday that residents living along bodies of water might be affected by storms in the next few days.

“The low-pressure weather will bring rainfall, fog and storms,” she said, advising people to “avoid fishing and travelling by plane or boat during the next few days to avoid accidents”.

Chhun Chhorn, governor of Kampong Thom province, said he was endeavouring to alert all residents about the precautions necessary this week.

“We are certainly concerned because last year, Kampong Thom was seriously damaged – more so than other provinces – by the effects of Typhoon Ketsana,” he said.

Officials from Siem Reap, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Svay Rieng, Koh Kong and Ratanakkiri provinces told the Post by telephone on Wednesday that while fog and wet weather had blanketed their provinces, there had been no serious damage.

Cassava farmers in Kampong Cham and Kratie provinces, however, expressed concern that storms could further damage farmland that was ravaged by Ketsana.

“The several days of fog and rain have affected the quality of our cassava products,” said Kong Samnang, 45, a cassava farmer in Kampong Cham’s Dambe district.

“We will lose our income if our produce is damaged and there is no sun to dry it out,” he added.

Last September, Kampong Thom province bore the brunt of Typhoon Ketsana, which killed a total of 43 people and injured 67 others nationwide, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM). Twenty of those deaths were tallied in Kampong Thom. Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk and Kampong Cham provinces also recorded fatalities.

The storm also caused roughly US$140 million in damage, the NCDM said in November.

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