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Flooding leaves hundreds stranded in Oddar Meanchey

Flooding leaves hundreds stranded in Oddar Meanchey

Six days of flooding in the northwest have caused serious washouts and left motorists without access to their homes

DOWN THE DRAIN?

The government pledged $2.5 billion in July this year to implement a 12-year national road reconstruction program. The project is expected to include major road repair work as well as drainage and flood-control schemes across Cambodia.

FLOODING in Oddar Meanchey  has closed down the main road to the northwestern province, shutting off hundreds of people from the rest of the country.

"We can't leave our province's towns because a few places on [the road] have been destroyed by floods," provincial Deputy Governor San Vanna said.

Along a 30-kilometre stretch of National Road 56, running between Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey provinces, heavy rains have caused a number of washouts.

Even the road from Anlong Veng district to Oddar Meanchey's provincial town has been damaged.

"Cars and trucks can't get through because heavy rains have caused serious floods," San Vanna said.

"I want to leave my house in the province, but I haven't been able to for two days," he added.

We have no roads to access our province...we are living as if on an island.

"We are surprised that such bad flooding was caused by rain this year. Last year, the roads were not a problem even when we had some flooding.
"We have no roads to access our province. We are living in the centre, as if on an island," San Vanna said.

Six days of heavy rain

Chhoeum Hap, deputy police chief of Oddar Meanchey province, said Sunday that heavy rains have lasted for six days and, in a number of places, floods have made Road 56 nearly impassable.

"Small cars can't cross this flooded road. Big cars can only cross if they are pulled by tractors," Chhoeum Hap said.

However people and businessmen can still travel to Oddar Meanchey province by switching cars and motorbikes along the way.

"People and businessmen have created their own way to travel to the province's town. They change their taxi or motorbike from place to place," Chhoeum Hap explained.

Yim Phim, commander of the army's Brigade 43, said Sunday that the road from Anlong Veng district to Sa Em village, Kontout commune, Chom Ksan district and Preah Vihear province is muddy and requires cars and trucks with four-wheel drive. Anlong Veng district's road is connected to the Preah Vihear temple.

"It is difficult to travel from Anlong Veng to Sa Em. Unless cars and trucks have four-wheel drive, you can't cross it," Yim Phim said.

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