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PM tells authorities to prepare for floods

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Stung Treng province’s six towns and districts had been inundated due to recent downpours and rising water levels in the Upper Mekong River Basin. Supplied

PM tells authorities to prepare for floods

Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed provincial authorities and relevant institutions to take preventative measures and prepare for rescue operations as floods caused by heavy rains take their toll on northern provinces across the Kingdom.

In Stung Treng, provincial hall spokesman Men Kong told The Post on Wednesday that five of the province’s six towns and districts had been inundated due to recent downpours and rising water levels in the Upper Mekong River Basin.

As of Wednesday, Kong said, the Mekong River water level as measured by provincial hydrological stations has risen to 10.90m, 20cm above the emergency level.

“Up to now, Siem Pang is the only district that has not suffered from floods caused by heavy rains and the Mekong flood waters,” he said.

He said many stretches of road in the districts had been submerged, while 20 villages had been inundated.

With water rising up to waist height, the affected villagers will soon be evacuated to higher ground, he said.

“Provincial joint forces are preparing evacuation plans. We are getting tents and mobile toilets ready for 83 locations that are safe from floods,” he said.

In Preah Vihear province, many villagers and communes in Chheb and Choam Ksan districts have also been flooded by heavy rains and the rising Mekon River water level.

Chab Koy, the director of the provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, told The Post on Wednesday that some villages along the Cambodian-Thai border in Choam Ksan district’s Sa Em commune had been severely flooded.

Choam Ksan district governor Chea Kim Seng told The Post on Wednesday that some stretches of road in the district had been submerged and were impassable.

On Tuesday, Kim Seng said a two-year-old boy was swept away by strong currents flowing through a canal. The child was riding on a motorbike with his parents amid heavy downpours when the bike veered off the slippery road and fell into the canal.

“Heavy rain is still continuing,” he said.

In Chheb district, Chheb I, Chheb II and Kampong Sralao II communes have also suffered from floods caused by heavy rains and the rising Mekong water level.

In his directive issued on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said a well-prepared preventative measure would help minimise hardship, property damages and the loss of lives.

Hun sen cited the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology’s forecast saying the Kingdom was currently under the influence of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) low pressure, tropical storm Kajiki and Southwest Monsoon strong winds.

The weather phenomenon, the directive said, has caused heavy rains and trigger floodwater in provinces close to the Dangrek Mountain range and Vietnamese border.

“On September 8, the water level at the Strung Treng provincial Hydrological Station will reach 12.35m, above the 12.00m alarming point.

“On September 9, the water level at the Kratie Hydrological Station will reach 23.20m, above the 23.00m emergency level.

“On September 10, the water level at the Kampong Cham Hydrological Station will reach 15.70m, above the 15.20m alarming level.”

While flooding has taken tolls on provinces along the upper Mekong River, it has also caused riverbank collapses in provinces on the lower Mekong including Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, and Kandal.

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