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Minsitry calls for more vigilance during storms

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The storm destroyed houses in Battambong province on Monday. MWR

Minsitry calls for more vigilance during storms

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology called on Wednesday for increased vigilance as Cambodia continues to be in a trough of low atmospheric pressure while facing high pressure from Thailand, leading to dry season rains, sudden strong winds and lightning strikes.

The ministry’s notice said that damage from natural disasters in the first quarter of this year had markedly increased.

“From April 3-5, it will continue to rain at a low to medium level but will not be spread throughout the country. Temperatures generally range from 33 to 34 Celsius but from April 6, temperatures will continue to rise,” the ministry said.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said any rain will make people happy.

“While we’re short of water and it’s so hot, people will be happy again, even though storms can cause problems,” he said.

Keo Vy added in the first quarter of this year, there had been storms in 16 provinces. 92 houses had been destroyed or seriously damaged and 537 houses had had their roofs torn off or damaged, while 13 schools had also been affected.

The storms have also damaged 95 beach stalls and three warehouses and injured seven people, he said.

Vy said four people have been killed by lightning this year and two injured.

He said during the drought, authorities had rescued about 30,000ha of rice fields in 11 provinces, while people were still dependent on rainfall in the agricultural sector.

The Kingdom is still affected by El Nino, Vy said, and there is a shortage of water in 14 provinces, with two provinces facing a serious water shortage.

“Because of all the storms, there has been an increase in natural disasters compared to the first quarter of last year. Lightning strikes have declined, but the number of houses damaged has increased considerably,” he said.

Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak said over the last few days it has rained almost every day in his province.

It has ensured people have water to consume, he said, and a local reservoir had been replenished.

However, he pointed out that people should not be complacent about the situation and advised everyone to be careful and save water where possible.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has instructed people to be extremely vigilant about lightning and sudden strong winds and to use water in a highly efficient manner because the dry season will continue for a prolonged period.

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