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Mekong water levels close to emergency

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Authorities urged residents living along the Mekong River in Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces to be vigilant as water levels rise perilously close to meriting an emergency declaration. Heng Chivoan

Mekong water levels close to emergency

Authorities urged residents living along the Mekong River in Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces to be vigilant as water levels rise perilously close to meriting an emergency declaration.

On Sunday, water levels in Stung Treng province were just 20cm shy of an emergency declaration – reaching 10.5m.

In Kratie province, a water level of 22m requires an emergency declaration, while the Mekong River had surged as high as 21m. Similarly, the water level along Kampong Cham rose to 13.5m, while the alert level for the province is set at 15.2m.

“Tropical storm Podul caused too much rain in the Mekong River Basin of Lao, Thailand, and Cambodia which triggered the water levels to rise,” the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said.

Podul made landfall in central Vietnam on early on Friday and travelled across the Mekong basin over the weekend.

Authorities in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district were forced to temporarily suspend traffic on roads overcome with water.

Kroch Chhmar district police chief Sam Heng told The Post that villagers were using rowboats and speedboats to ferry agricultural products and motorcycle drivers to and fro between Chhouk and Roka Khnor communes which are connected with a 700m stretch of gravel road.

“Each passenger and motorcycle or bicycle will be required to pay boat pilots between 1,000 and 2,000 riel to travel across the flooded portion of the road, but cars and other vehicles cannot be brought over,” Heng said.

Similarly, a concrete road in Tbong Khmum district’s Tuol Kor village had also become flooded and at least 50m of the riverbank in three places had also collapsed.

Tbong Khmum district police chief Seangly Shos told The Post that no one had been seriously injured in the floods, but police officials had instructed pregnant women, young children and the elderly from staying too close to the water, Shos said.

Heng Sophonarith, Preah Sihanouk province’s chief of Water Resources and Meteorology, told the Post that rainwater had flooded National Road 4 while traffic along Stung Samrong bridge in O’Bakrotes commune had slowed after flooding on Friday night.

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