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Typhoon bringing heavy rains

Children play in the floodwaters in Phnom Penh’s Slaeng village in Meanchey district last week
Children play in the floodwaters in Phnom Penh’s Slaeng village in Meanchey district last week. Flooding this year has claimed 122 lives so far. HENG CHIVOAN

Typhoon bringing heavy rains

Typhoon Nari is expected to cause heavy rain across 13 provinces this week, according to an announcement from the Minsitry of Water Resources and Meterology released yesterday.

Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, said the severe weather caused by Nari will increase the risk of flooding as the Mekong River rises.

“Cambodia will see rain from [Wednesday to Thursday] due to Typhoon Nari, which will increase the water level in the Mekong a little and waves [at the coast] will be higher, from one meter to two meters,” he said in the statement.

The ministry forecast heavy rain in Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, Kratie, Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear, Preah Sihanouk, Prey Veng, Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng and Svay Rieng.

The tropical storm reached the Vietnamese coast shortly after 6pm yesterday and is expected to dissipate in eastern Thailand on Wednesday morning after passing over central Vietnam and southern Laos, according to forecasts from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Nari left at least 13 dead in the Philippines over the weekend and about 50,000 displaced while Vietnam has reportedly evacuated about 180,000 people to avoid the worst of the storm.

Chan Yutha of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said the government had used 20,000 sandbags to create levies in an attempt to stop the Trapaing Thmar reservoir in Banteay Meanchey’s Phnom Srok district from breaching, adding that the risk to villagers living nearby was minimal.

“Trapaing Thmar reservoir has not yet broken, and officials have used many packages of sand … to defend it and stop water flowing into villages,” he said, adding that the government was working with international agencies and NGOs to lower the risk of flooding near reservoirs and dams in Siem Reap and Battambang provinces.

According to a report released by the National Committee of Disaster Management, this year’s floods have so far killed 122 people and 1.5 million people have been affected.