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No major flooding mishaps despite rising Mekong waters, says Ministry

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hun Sen inspects the Lower Sesan II dam when it was inaugurated on September 25 last year. Despite rising waters from the Mekong River, no major flooding has been reported. Hong Menea

No major flooding mishaps despite rising Mekong waters, says Ministry

Water levels have been rising in Stung Treng, Kratie, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Cham and Battambang provinces over the past two weeks, but so far floods have not had a serious impact, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said.

Its spokesman Chan Yutha told The Post on Monday that heavy rains and water flowing in from Thailand have caused water in the Mekong and other waterways to rise.

He said he expected water levels to drop soon, but his ministry can’t be certain because of heavy rains.

Rising waters

“Water levels can go up or down based on the amount of rainfall. People who reside along the river, please be careful and quickly harvest your crops,” he said.

Stung Treng Provincial Hall spokesman Men Kong said on Monday that water in the Mekong River had risen drastically and might flood other rivers, streams or canal systems over the next few days because of heavy rains upriver in Thailand and Laos.

“However, so far there haven’t been any reports of floods from local authorities. The relevant provincial authorities are monitoring the weather situation and flood conditions regularly,” he said.

Stung Treng Department of Water Resource and Meteorology director Pang Peng said authorities are continuing to monitor water levels in Mekong in his province and that it had reached 7.86 metres, which is far short of the emergency limit of 10.5 metres.

Areas around the Lower Sesan II Hydropower Dam, he said, have experienced no flooding.

“The Mekong in Stung Treng can flow into tributaries over the next couple of days, but it should be no cause for concern,” he said.

The National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said people who live along rivers, streams and canals near the Thai border should be extra cautious because rain will continue to fall, increasing the strength of water flow.

He warned people who live along the Mekong in Kampong Cham, Kratie and Stung Treng to be very careful and vigilant over the safety of their children and elderly parents.

“For their safety, don’t let young children or elderly parents stay near the river during the flood period,” he said.

Dams save the day

In Preah Sihanouk, heavy rains since Saturday have dramatically raised the water level of the Samrong stream, especially near the bridge and on National Road 4 in Ou Bak Roteh commune in Kampong Seila district.

The national road was closed on Sunday but reopened Monday evening.

The ministry said in a statement that floods along the Sangke River in Battambang had been prevented because of the multipurpose Sek Sork and Kang Hort dams

“During times of the heavy rainfall [along the Cambodia-Thai border], the two major hydraulic constructions have played important roles to prevent water from flowing into Sangke River,” it said.

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