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More severe storms in the forecast

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Police search for a fisherman who went missing in a storm off Koh Rong Sanloem on Thursday night. Police

More severe storms in the forecast

Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha told The Post on Sunday that some areas close to mountains, the northern and north-eastern plateau of Cambodia, and especially the low-lying areas of the upper Mekong River basin, will experience medium to heavy rains until early next month.

The announcement came after a 31-year-old fisherman identified as Chhem Chheng disappeared on Koh Rong Sanloem in Preah Sihanouk province on Thursday night while fishing during a severe storm.

Yutha said tropical storm Bavi – known in the Philippines as tropical storm Betty – did not hit Cambodia because the storm had moved to the Korean peninsula.

But another pressure system sprawling from Myanmar to China’s southern coast moving across the north of Thailand and Vietnam is developing into a new typhoon. Its effects will be felt in the upper Mekong River basin in Cambodia, Yutha said.

“This situation will bring much more rainfall in areas of the upper Mekong River basin and the northern and north-eastern plateaus of Cambodia, especially close to the Cambodia-Vietnam border. Mekong River water will also continue to rise gradually in hydrological stations,” he said.

He further said that from early September to late October, scattered rain showers of varying severity will affect the country, especially in coastal areas. Thunder and lightning strikes are expected to decrease marginally, he added.

Yutha called on the people to exercise increased caution for rain-induced floods which will especially affect areas near mountains and the low-lying areas of the upper Mekong River basin.

On Sunday, the water level of the Mekong River at the hydrological station in Stung Treng province rose to 7.01m. The water level of the hydrological station in Kratie province rose to 15.70m and the water level of the Chaktomuk hydrological station in Phnom Penh rose to 5.58m, according to the ministry.

Koh Rong Sanloem commune police chief Veth Sopheak told The Post on Sunday that the missing fisherman resides in Commune I’s Village III in Sihanoukville, and disappeared off the west coast of Koh Rong Sanloem.

Citing a relative of the victim, he said on the day of the incident, rains and huge waves rocked Chheng’s boat, causing him to fall in the sea.

“As of Sunday, our police forces launched a rescue and search operation on waters and in the area, but they didn’t come across the victim yet,” he said.

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