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Flood death toll hits seven

Villagers in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town move belongings out of homes damaged by floodwaters last week
Villagers in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town move belongings out of homes damaged by floodwaters last week. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Flood death toll hits seven

Relentless floodwater in Banteay Meanchey has killed at least seven people since late last month, when water began inundating the province, national disaster officials confirmed.

Fatalities from the deluge in Banteay Meanchey include four adults and three children, National Committee for Disaster Management chief Keo Vy said. Officials are continuing to monitor other flooded areas for deaths.

“Other provinces such as Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom and Kratie have no deaths so far, but we will follow up,” Vy said.

More than 500 families already have been evacuated from their homes since heavy storms in Thailand began overwhelming the Mekong River, leaving several border towns submerged under chest-deep water. Deaths occurred in Poipet, Sisophon, Svay Chek and Thma Pouk districts, Banteay Meanchey Governor Ty Narin said yesterday.

Damaging property and farmland, rising water has impacted thousands of people, Narin said.

“The flood has affected 2,592 families throughout Banteay Meanchey province,” Narin said. “The authorities are still ready to help residents, but we appeal to residents to be careful of deep water in order to avoid drowning.”

During a visit to Banteay Meanchey this week, Nhim Vanda, vice president of the NCDM, suggested provincial officials erect four temporary bridges to enable vehicle travel.

The area can expect further flooding for at least another day, as a low-pressure front from storm Utor travels from the Philippines to the South China Sea, according to a flood bulletin from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology. Low-pressure fronts are expected to further raise water levels in the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers.

A separate rainstorm heavily damaged more than 10 houses, injuring two people in neighbouring Oddar Meanchey’s Trapaing Prasat district, officials there said.

One roof collapse left a 50-year-old woman with a broken hand and her 19-year-old son with a leg injury, deputy district police chief Dam Saray said.

“The woman and her two children were staying in the house during the heavy rain storm when the roof collapsed on them,” Saray said. Injuries sustained were not considered serious, he added.

Provincial officials have distributed money, food and supplies to repair storm damage to those whose homes had sustained damage, Saray said.

Since the beginning of the year until August, 28 people were killed and 95 injured in rainstorms and floods, Vy said. Fatalities and injuries so far this year amount to double the amount recorded last year, he added.

Separately, 93 people were killed by lightning and another 72 injured, according to Vy.

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