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Floods affect Mondulkiri; Ratanakkiri at risk: gov’t

Water and debris cover a river crossing in Mondulkiri on Tuesday after two days of heavy rain caused flooding in the province. Photo supplied
Water and debris cover a river crossing in Mondulkiri on Tuesday after two days of heavy rain caused flooding in the province. Photo supplied

Floods affect Mondulkiri; Ratanakkiri at risk: gov’t

Heavy rains have damaged roads and several houses in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district, while Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district is faced with possible flooding as the inclement weather continues, local authorities said yesterday.

Klot Vuthea, deputy chief of Koh Nhek district police, said that after three days of heavy rains, two roads – one in Rayum commune, one in Nang Khylek commune – had flooded, with each damaged at many points. In addition, floods affected about 30 houses in the low-lying communes.

“Many hectares of farms and paddy fields were also flooded, but there is no damage yet,” Vuthea said.

Agriculture experts have said that if a flood lasts less than a week, the plantings will be fine; if more than a week, the rice will begin to spoil.

In Ratanakkiri, Lumphat district acting police chief Klol Thoeung said that four villages located in Chey Uddom commune are at risk of being flooded should the rains continue, since the water levels in the area are already high.

“The climate remains stuffy, and if it [continues to] rain, the four villages located next to the O’kan River will gradually start to flood,” Thoeung said.

Meanwhile, in an effort to help the people impacted – or soon to be impacted – by the rising waters, local authorities visited both provinces to educate those in the vulnerable areas about health and hygiene risks associated with flooding.

They also appealed to residents to keep children and elderly individuals away from the waters to avoid drowning, said Keo Vy, spokesman of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

Playing down the severity of the current situation, Vy noted that the roads in Koh Nhek district were not as badly damaged as police chief Vuthea indicated, adding that “the floods in the two provinces have not caused any serious problems yet, but we cannot be careless about that since they can harm people, especially children and old people”.

Vy added that the value of the damage could not be estimated yet because water has only partially receded.

According to Om Rina, director of the meteorology department and spokesman of the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology, rain and strong winds are expected to continue in the highlands and coastal areas until July 3.

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