Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on people to be careful in thunderstorms, which have so far this year killed at least three people and destroyed scores of homes, with more predicted in April and May.
The prime minister also ordered the Cambodian Red Cross and authorities to assist those affected by the storms and continue tackling the water shortages facing many parts of the Kingdom.
“Do not let people get into trouble. This is a problem in which local authorities have to be active, and people must be careful when there are powerful storms. They must check the situation and remain vigilant,” Hun Sen said.
There will be increased instances of thunderstorms in April and May compared with previous years, a March 12 weather forecast from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology predicted.
Hun Sen said that rains experienced in some parts of the Kingdom had eased people’s difficulties during the current drought and that heavier rain is forecast for the coming days.
“So please, our people, the rainwater that will arrive, try to keep it to use. Use water economically. In places where there is no water, local authorities are still addressing the issue. The best way is to dig wells where they can be dug. This is better than transporting water,” he said.
Less rain will fall in this dry season, although thunderstorms are predicted for April and May. From the beginning of June to mid-July, only moderate, scattered rain is predicted. This year’s rainfall is likely to be the lowest in many years, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology forecast.
Nine houses destroyed
On Saturday, storms destroyed nine houses in Preah Vihear province’s Chheb district, according to a district police official.
Sim Say, Chheb district’s deputy police chief, told The Post that four houses were severely damaged and roofs were blown off by the storm, but no one was injured.
He said the chief of a provincial working group assisting Chheb district was on Monday preparing a budget to help with the situation.
“There is support from the provincial working group. A provincial police commander came here to distribute 25kg of rice. Shelters and 100,000 riel [around $25] were given to those affected the most."
“As well as the rice, canned fish, soy sauce and 50,000 riel [$12.50] were given to others. This provincial group works in cooperation with district and commune authorities.”
On Sunday, one person was killed and two others seriously injured in lightning strikes in Pursat province’s Phnom Kravanh district, the National Police website said on Monday.
An 84-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries soon after being sent to the hospital. A 22-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman were injured.