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Northeast afflicted by flooding

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Floodwaters submerge streets and inundate homes in Battambang town on October 16. BATTAMBANG INFORMATION DEPARTMENT

Northeast afflicted by flooding

Flooding in Battambang province has affected 2,460 homes before waters there began to subside, while continued vigilance is urged for residents of Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces where the Srepok River’s waters have risen to emergency levels.

The floodwaters in Battambang province dropped 1.3m on October 18 from their October 17 high water mark of 13.55m, according to provincial hall spokesman Moul Thon.

“Heavy rains from October 14-17 flooded 2,460 houses located in low-elevation areas across Battambang town and the districts of Samlot, Ek Phnom, Sangke, Banan and Ratanak Mondol. Battambang town was the most severely affected with 1,076 flooded homes,” he said.

Thon said the flooding in Battambang town was not caused by the Sangke River, but was in fact due to the congested drainage system in the town after several consecutive days of rainfall. He said the waters began to lower immediately when the rain let up on October 17-18.

Separately, authorities in Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces urged vigilance as the water level of the Srepok River – which flows through both provinces in the northeast of the country – had risen above emergency levels on October 18.

In Ratanakkiri province, Department of Water Resources and Meteorology director Um Sovanna told The Post on October 18 that the Srepok River water level had reached 12.7m, rising above the emergency level of 12.5m and still increasing gradually.

“About 30 per cent of the homes along the banks of the Srepok River have been flooded and the water is flowing into other lowland areas in Kon Mom and Lumphat districts,” Sovanna said.

He said the rising water levels were caused by a typhoon which brought several consecutive days of heavy rainfall as well as floodgate releases of water from hydro-dams located in Vietnam’s Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Dak Lak provinces bordering Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri.

Soy Sona, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the flooding in lowland areas of Lumphat and Kon Mom district had caused little impact on any of the area’s rice crops or other agricultural products.

“Normally, these floodwaters from rainfall and the river won’t remain for long and will recede after a couple of dry days. But it can affect people’s cassava plantations badly if the waters have a sustained presence of one week or longer,” he said.

Sona said provincial and local authorities were providing assistance to the families affected, and they had prepared personnel and resources for evacuating them all to safety if necessary.

Some districts are also suffering from flooding due to the Sesan River as its water levels are nearly at emergency levels, including Andong Meas, Taveng and Veun Sai.

In Mondulkiri province, some parts of Koh Nhek and Keo Seima districts have been flooded, according to provincial hall spokesman Cheak Meng Heang.

He said rainwater and water from the Srepok River flooded the Sre Sangkum police station and submerged some streets in Koh Nhek district, warning that water levels in the area are still rising.

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