Nearly 100 people died and more than 150 were injured in natural disasters in the first eight months of this year, with some provinces currently at risk of flooding, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).
In a report released last week, NCDM said that from January to August the combined results of Cambodia’s fires, rainstorms and lightning strikes had killed 94 people and left 158 people injured along with 40 animals dead.
These incidents had also damaged more than 7,800 houses and 220 other facilities including schools, markets, buildings and factories.
Those numbers are most likely to rise by year’s end, as the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology announced on September 7 that the capital and 10 provinces face flooding due to four phenomena happening simultaneously in Cambodia’s weather systems.
“From September 7-14, Phnom Penh and 10 provinces – Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kandal, Svay Rieng, Koh Kong , Preah Sihanouk and Kampot provinces – are at risk of flooding,” it said.
The ministry reported on September 8 that some provinces were already experiencing flooding due to heavy rains while others would be flooded because they are in low-lying areas, including Oddar Meanchey province where 88.7mm of rain fell on September 6-7.
The heavy rains caused the water levels in the Ta Mok reservoir in Anlong Veng district’s Anlong Veng commune to rise by 3.57m – short of actual flooding but close enough to cause heightened concerns.
In Preah Sihanouk province, governor Kuoch Chamroeun ordered authorities, the armed forces and relevant units to monitor the weather situation and be alert to any early signs of trouble from natural disasters.
“We also ask fishermen to refrain from going out to sea at this time due to the risk of dangerously large waves. We have instructed local authorities along the coast to inform families there and find all means to disseminate this warning to our fishermen,” Chamroeun said.
To prepare for the possibility of natural disasters this year, the NCDM has stockpiled emergency rescue equipment and more than 1,600 vehicles, including inflatable boats and speed boats, in order to help people affected by flooding during the rainy season.