As flooding continues to haunt provinces along the Mekong River and beyond, the water levels of the Sesan and Stung Sangke rivers in Ratanakkiri and Battambang provinces, respectively, have reached emergency status by Thursday afternoon.
The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) spokesperson Keo Vy told The Post on Thursday that the recurrence of the Se San floods was caused by heavy rainfall in the areas and the opening of a floodgate in neighbouring Vietnam.
“The water has risen because Vietnam opened its floodgate. It will recede after a few days, so its not a major concern.
“It’s just like when the Tek Chou dam [in Kampot province] opened its floodgate. In the Se San case, the Vietnamese authorities didn’t inform us about it,” he said.
Vy said the Se San river floods will affect some infrastructures and rice fields in Ratanakkiri.
Provincial agriculture department director Soy Sona said the rising floods had inundated some communes in Veun Sai district, adding that the department was collecting detailed data of the damages.
“I’m monitoring the situation in areas where floods had submerged rice fields,” he said.
The Ministry of Water Resources on Thursday afternoon said the water level at Battambang’s Sangke river had reached emergency status, with the provincial city’s Boeung Chhouk market area inundated. The ministry warned those living along the river to be cautious.
Meanwhile, Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak is leading a special task force to prevent accidents from the Sangke flood waters, which has flowed into parts of the provincial city.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said the authorities, including forces from the Military Intervention Division 5, had loaded 5,000 sand sacks to block the lower river bank to prevent further flooding in Battambang City and beyond.