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Villagers prepare for storm

Houses are destroyed in Tacloban, the Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan swept over the archipelago yestereday.
Houses are destroyed in Tacloban, the Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan swept over the archipelago yesterday. Forecasts predict the storm will only mildly affect Cambodia. AFP

Villagers prepare for storm

Cambodians in the northern provinces are preparing for the remnants of super-storm Typhoon Haiyan, though forecasts now predict it will only mildly affect the Kingdom.

In a warning issued on Friday, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said high winds and heavy rainfall would likely hit Kratie, Mondulkiri, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces.

“[The typhoon] moved north, so we expect it will hit Cambodia a little bit, but it’s always changing, so we will watch it carefully,” said ministry spokesman Chan Yutha.

Authorities in northeastern Cambodia called on villagers to strengthen the foundations of their houses so the roofs and walls do not cave in during the storm. Fishermen are also advised to take particular care.

“We have been affected many times already by storms this year that caused damage to hundreds of houses, so we have to inform the people in advance to prevent damage from this typhoon,” said Nuth Sophorn, Preah Vihear town governor.

He said officials are prepared to intervene to help villagers evacuate to a nearby pagoda if necessary.

Forecasts by the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System predict the storm will mildly affect Cambodia, as passage through the South China Sea is expected to temper the Category 5 monster typhoon.

Some are now taking a more come-what-may attitude to the typhoon, which has ravaged parts of the Philippines.

Uy Sam Ath, director of disaster management at Red Cross Cambodia, said that as of yesterday, the organisation had taken no steps to prepare for the impending storm.

“Cambodia is safe, don’t worry. [The typhoon] will hit Hanoi, not here,” he said.

Officials reached at the National Committee for Disaster Management declined to comment yesterday on what steps had been taken to assure residents’ safety.

Last Thursday, Typhoon Krosa left three people dead and destroyed more than 100 houses in Kampong Chhnang province, authorities said.

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