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Paddy fields at risk from rising waters

Paddy fields at risk from rising waters

Rising waters on the Mekong river hit alert level in Kampong Cham province yesterday afternoon. 

Cambodia’s three major rivers – the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac – all continued to rise as did the Tonle Sap lake.

In Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, where floods have also broken out, water levels continued to heighten but officials had yet to assess just how much land was inundated or how many people were affected.

The Mekong’s water level in Kampong Cham province hit 15.22 metres, two centimetres above the alert level, at about 4:30 pm deputy provincial police chief Bun Vorn said yesterday.

“Police forces are deployed at the most affected places to combat the water,” he said, adding that some roads had been affected and heavy trucks were now banned from crossing a bridge across the river.

Keo Vy, Cabinet Director of the National Committee of Disaster Management’s Information Bureau, said yesterday that for the second time in two months farmers in Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham were facing the destruction of rice crops.

“This September, more rice crops will be destroyed,” he said, adding that more than 600 hectares of paddies were lost in Stung Treng during the  previous floods last month and hundreds more remained susceptible because of repeated inundation.

But officials would have to wait for floods to subside before they could assess the true extent of the damage.

Waters have begun receding in Siem Reap, Kampong Thom and Battambang provinces.

Predictions posted on The Mekong River Commission website yesterday suggested water levels will rise in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces and at Prek Kdam village in Siem Reap on the Tonle Sap river where it is expected to near alarm levels on Saturday.

Keo Vy said yesterday a total of 14 deaths had been reported since the latest floods broke out in Cambodia on September 9.

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