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Ministry issues flood, heavy rain warnings

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Authorities employ a boat to evacuate residents of a flooded village in Ratanakkiri province. SUPPLIED

Ministry issues flood, heavy rain warnings

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said Cambodia will continue to receive low-to-heavy rainfall until the weekend, which could again flood some low-lying areas in certain provinces.

Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng, Kratie, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Cham and Oddar Meanchey provinces are especially at risk.

In an August 14 notice, the ministry said a low pressure front from India would move into the northern parts of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, and into the South China Sea, bringing a low-to-medium southwestern monsoon.

The weather condition would bring scattered rain showers almost everywhere between August 15-19.

“This weather condition could make high-precipitation areas and provinces which had previously received medium-to-high rainfall again suffer rain-induced flooding, especially Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng, Kratie, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Cham and Oddar Meanchey,” the ministry said.

It warned relevant authorities and the public in these provinces to exercise increased caution regarding flooding as water levels at all hydraulic stations had risen in the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac rivers.

As of August 14, the hydraulic stations in the Mekong River in Stung Treng had risen to 9.39m, with the emergency declaration level pegged at 10.70m.

Water levels in Kratie were 19.75m, with the emergency level 22m, while in Kampong Cham they were at 13.04m, with the emergency level 15.20m.

Meanwhile, local authorities have said that rain-induced flooding and the level of the Srepok River in Ratanakkiri had receded, with the evacuees from floods on the night of August 10 and morning of August 11 having returned home.

Nou The, the governor of Lumphat district, said on August 14 that the level of the Srepok River had fallen to only 7m, while floodwaters that had inundated roads, rice fields and plantations had also receded.

“On August 11-12, rain-induced floods and rising water in the Srepok River had flooded 400 houses and four schools, as well as roads. But now, on the morning of August 14, the flooding has receded,” he said.

Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Soveacha said that during the flooding, a small number of schools in Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces had been closed temporarily, with students studying at nearby unaffected schools or other safe locations, as well as using online learning.

He called on students, teachers, education staff, parents and all other stakeholders to exercise increased caution in the rainy season.

The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said that recent floods had affected 16 provinces and the livelihoods of 2,708 families, consisting of over 4,900 people, as well as more than 40,000ha of rice fields, of which over 10,000ha was damaged.

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