At least four people have died and thousands of families affected by flooding in Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakkiri provinces following recent heavy thunderstorms.
Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesperson Kheang Phearum said on Sunday that a Cambodian husband and wife were killed on Thursday when a concrete fence collapsed at the construction site they were working on.
He said a Chinese national who was a brick factory supervisor was also killed on Friday when another fence collapsed due to flood water in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune.
Phearum said the authorities had sent the bodies of the Cambodian couple to their hometown in Tbong Khmum province.
Provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun said all available forces were on standby to help save citizens from flooding.
“We must not leave anyone in trouble without being rescued,” he said.
In Ratanakkiri province, a 15-year-old girl drowned after a ferry sank in Lumphat district on Friday. Her body was found the same day. The victim was identified as Ra Rachna, a student of Lumphat Secondary School.
More than 2,180 families have suffered due to flooding in the province’s Lumphat and Kon Mom districts and along the Sre Pok and Sesan rivers. Paddy fields and other crops, livestock, schools and roads have all been affected.
Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha told The Post on Sunday that two more storms are expected this week as a low-pressure system moves across northern Laos and Vietnam, while the southwest monsoon continues to have a strong influence on coastal areas.
He said coastal provinces, especially Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk, will continue to experience heavy rainfall, while strong winds and high waves are expected at sea.
Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey provinces will see medium rainfalls this week, Yutha said, while Phnom Penh and Kampong Speu, Takeo and Kandal provinces are expected to experience light to medium rainfall.
Preah Sihanouk spokesperson Phearum said rain was continuing to fall and water levels were still rising in some areas of Sihanoukville but there is not yet a state of emergency.
Some roads in Prey Nop district remained impassable, he said, while measures to release floodwaters from the city – such as restoring and digging canals – continue to be taken.
Koh Kong provincial deputy governor and spokesman Sok Sothy said water had flowed down hillsides over the past two or three days onto National Road 48 where it meets National Road 4.
He said rocks had fallen onto the road near Doung village’s Tatai bridge, but as in Sihanoukville, the provincial authorities in cooperation with the district authorities were using machinery to dig canals to help the water recede and return traffic to normal.
Sothy said rain was continuing to fall but was not as strong as on Saturday. All districts have seen flooding, he said, but Koh Kong and Mondul Seima districts were worst hit – although there have been no serious problems.
He said the total number of villagers affected had not yet been established as the authorities were rescuing them and evacuating people to higher ground first.
Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman Yutha said heavy rainfall in the Mekong Basin, especially in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, has caused the level of the Mekong River to increase slightly, but not yet severely.
National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy could not be reached for comment about the number of affected villagers on Sunday.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said on Sunday that a ministry working group had brought medical equipment and nearly two thousand insecticide-treated mosquito nets to Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakiri provinces.
“We and the medical team have provided free medical treatment and supplies to people affected by the floods in both provinces. We made many announcements to help people prepare for floods.
“Fortunately, the flooding in Ratanakkiri has subsided somewhat. We continue to meet villagers and the most important thing is to provide them with healthcare and instruction in various ways they can help themselves,” he said.