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Three lives swept away by flash flood

120920_05

A villager paddles through the flood, after much of rural Cambodia was inundated for several weeks. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

Three people have drowned and more than 3,000 have been evacuated since flash flooding struck a trio of provinces late last week.

Yesterday, the Cambodian Red Cross said it was mobilising aid and planned to have packages of rice, canned fish, noodles and other materials in the hands of 2,340 families, mostly in Banteay Meanchey, by this weekend.

In the evacuated village of Ou’Bei Chean in Banteay Meanchey’s Ou’Chrov district, the body of a 34-year-old man was found yesterday morning. Commune chief Suong Suon said the man  returned alone to his house while his family was being moved to safer ground.

Ten of the 11 villages in his commune were flooded, Suong said, with 126 families forced to leave their homes.

“Villagers are in need of food and the Cambodian Red Cross plans to distribute food and gifts for the 126 families on Thursday,” he said.

A 59-year-old local drowned in Kampong Thom’s Kampong Svay district on Monday, and a 12-year-old girl drowned in Siem Reap late last week.

Poipet governor Ngor Meng Chroun said officals were still busy moving hundreds from flooded areas, including Poipet City, to properly assess structural and environmental damage.

The Asia Development Bank, which is leading Cambodia’s Flood Damage Emergency Reconstruction Project for last year’s devastating floods, said it wasn’t clear yet what rural road projects had been affected.

“When we considered the Stage Two projects, we selected them on their vulnerability, based on whether they were likely to be flooded again,” deputy director of ADB’s Cambodia mission Peter Brimble said.

If the government did request help for newly damaged infrastructure the bank would look at money left over from existing projects, Brimble added.

About 300 metres of national road under construction has been damaged in Ou’Chov district, authorities reported.

Water has receded in some provinces threatened by flooding earlier this week, but rain is expected through to Sunday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Phak Seangly at seangly.phak@phnompenhpost.com
Rosa Ellen at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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