Water levels in the Mekong River in Stung Treng province climbed to emergency levels yesterday morning as Prime Minister Hun Sen took to Facebook to order local authorities to look out for residents.
“Please do not let your children go swimming in ponds, lakes, rice fields, under the bridge or in canals since it is very risky,” the premier said in his statement. “Officials, authorities, all levels of armed forces, ministries, departments, institutions and local authorities have to observe and rescue the people in time . . . Please be highly cautious.”
Tropical Storm Sonca, now downgraded to a low-pressure system, is continuing to cause some flooding in lowland areas of Cambodia near the Mekong and Stung Sen rivers, even as waters recede in the northern and northwest regions.
Stung Treng Provincial Hall spokesman Men Kong said 121 houses in lowland areas near the Mekong River, including Srekor Chas and Kbal Romea villages in Sesan district, were slightly flooded yesterday and that the authorities are preparing to evacuate villagers to higher elevations.
Water levels are also expected to reach emergency levels in Kratie province on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.
In northern and northwest Cambodia, officials reported floods receding, although lowland areas downriver still face risks.
In Preah Vihear province, Choam Ksan District Governor Chea Kemseng said floodwaters have largely retreated and that authorities are fixing the roads and bridges.
“Now only in two communes – Yeang and Pring Thom – the water has not receded yet,” Kemseng said.
Chea Piseth, spokesman for Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hall, said flooding in Trapaing Prasat and Anlong Veng districts receded slightly yesterday and that some people who were evacuated on Wednesday morning have been able to return to their homes.
“However, we still worry about flooding of our farmland in areas where it rains a lot, such as Chongkal district,” Piseth said.
In Kampong Thom province, water levels of the Stung Sen River rose to just below emergency levels yesterday, according to Keo Vy, spokesman of the National Committee for Disaster Management.
He said some houses and farms near the Stung Sen River and some lowland areas in Prasat Sambor, Sandan and Kampong Svay districts and Stung Sen town were slightly flooded.