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Hundreds flee, six die as storm Noul lands

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Six people died in Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces and almost 500 sought safety when rain flooded their houses on September 18 and 19. Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall

Hundreds flee, six die as storm Noul lands

Six people died in Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces and almost 500 sought safety when rain flooded their houses on September 18 and 19.

The heavy rain and flooding started on September 17 and was influenced by Tropical Storm Noul which pounded the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration reported that four residents drowned between September 17 and 20, including two four-year-old girls who drowned on Sunday morning in Prey Nop district.

The parents of the two girls said they went to work at 8am, leaving their children in the shelter. When they returned at 11am their children had disappeared and were found drowned in a pool nearby.

A 35-year-old woman in Commune I, Sihanoukville, was also found drowned on Saturday. She allegedly slipped and fell into a canal.

A female toddler aged one year and eight months slipped from her father’s grasp, fell into fast-flowing water and disappeared.

Authorities found the toddler’s body around 7am on Friday floating on a log 300m from the house.

A report from the Preah Sihanouk provincial administration said flooding in Prey Nop district and Preah Sihanouk affected 1,958 families in 11 communes, while 475 citizens in Prey Nop district were evacuated from their houses. Flooding also caused damage to many roads.

Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Chuon Narin said water in the areas has since decreased almost entirely. Some citizens were allowed back to their houses.

“Water levels are back to normal. Police and the provincial Unified Command Committee are still in flooded areas to assist citizens,” he said.

Authorities also evacuated 1,092 tourists from islands in the area.

The storm caused strong winds and created abnormally large waves in Koh Kong. There were no reports, however, of houses being flooded.

The Koh Kong provincial administration reported on September 19 that two siblings were swept into the sea by waves on September 17 in Koh Sdech commune, Kiri Sakor district. A boy, 15, was found dead on September 18. His older sister, 17, was also found dead nearby.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology reported Noul’s influence as over on September 20.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Khun Sokha said he did not have a final report on damage attributed to the storm, but Prey Nop district was affected the most. “Provinces have not reported the statistics to the national level yet,” he said.

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