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Authorities: Strong rains to batter Lao, Thai border areas

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Floods persist in Pailin province’s Sala Krao district. Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology

Authorities: Strong rains to batter Lao, Thai border areas

Authorities have appealed to villagers living along the borders with Lao and Thailand on Monday to brace for floods as strong rains are forecast to sweep across the Mekong River Basin until the end of the month.

Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Banteay Meanchey provinces will continue to experience low to high levels of rainfall, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said on Monday.

Choam Ksan district police chief O Seng said that Morokot commune was the hardest hit in Preah Vihear province – with floodwaters submerging several roads – while Kantuot, Yeang and Pring Thom communes experienced less flooding.

“Despite some roads being submerged by water, villagers have not yet evacuated,” Seng told The Post on Monday.

Meantime, in north-western Banteay Meanchey province, floodwaters reached as high as knee-level, overwhelming villages and roads in Svay Chek, Thma Puok and O’Chrov districts near the Thai border, said local authorities.

Svay Chek district deputy police chief Song Sokhon told The Post that floodwaters submerged some rural roads, but provincial and national roads were still largely unaffected as of Monday.

“I am building a bridge with other villagers to help residents travel between their homes, or to Roluos Market and the Health Centre,” Sokhon said.

Poipet town governor Keat Hul said: “The authorities are expanding some creeks near the border, clearing some debris and preparing villagers to evacuate to higher ground because O’Neang creek’s water level has increased rapidly, flooding villages and some paddy fields in Phsar Kandal and Nimeth communes.”

Hul said roads at the Poipet Special Economic Zone were also flooded after the nearby creek overflowed.

Banteay Meanchey province’s Department of Water Resources director Yem Bunrom said villagers from Thma Puok and O’Chrov district were being evacuated to higher ground before the situation got worse.

“Right now water is flowing swiftly towards the Serey Sophorn and Mongkul Borey Rivers, so some parts of Serey Sophorn and Mongkul Borey district will face flooding soon,” said Bunrom.

Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hall spokesman Chea Piseth told The Post that floodwaters have been reoccurring in Banteay Ampil and Anlong Veng districts, but it had not affected their rice crops as yet. “But it may affect cassava,” he said.

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