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Flood displaces scores in P Sihanouk

Residents and officials wade through flood waters yesterday in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday morning after heavy rains caused an inundation of water.
Residents and officials wade through flood waters yesterday in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday morning after heavy rains caused an inundation of water. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Flood displaces scores in P Sihanouk

Flooding in Preah Sihanouk province’s Stung Hav district briefly displaced 35 families from their homes in the early hours of yesterday morning due to heavy rains and increased runoff from the Kamchay Mountains, according to officials.

Local official Norngdy Nara reported no injuries or deaths due to the flooding.

“Water levels increased to more than one metre . . . Heavy rain starting at 3am caused flooding at 4am,” he said.

Nara went to the affected areas and oversaw that villagers and their children were brought to safety, unfortunately the “chickens, ducks and pigs” were not so lucky.

“After several hours, the water had gone away and [villagers] could return to their houses. This is the second time flooding from rain and water coming down from the mountains has occurred in the commune” this year, he said.

According to Nara, there is a lot of high ground in the area that villagers can escape to if their houses are flooded.

Keo Vy, a National Committee for Disaster Management advisor, said no other provinces were affected by flooding yesterday.

“The water level of the Mekong River is decreasing. If the situation of the weather does not change [by September] . . . there will not be flooding again this year,” he said.

But while the risk of flooding is diminishing, in Kampong Speu province, three riverside houses collapsed into the Prek Tnout river late last week, after a nearby dam broke.

Provincial authorities and experts from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology responded by dumping soil and rock into the broken section of the dam, located in Chbar Mon town, amid fears more houses could collapse.

Speaking yesterday, Water Resources Ministry spokesman Chan Yutha declined to be drawn on whether the dam was structurally unsound.

“We have to think about saving the people’s houses that are faced with destruction first, then we will discuss the technical standards involved in constructing this dam,” he said.

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