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Rains slow, flood alerts remain

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Pursat province remains on high alert after Tropical storm Noul flooded large portions of the country. Facebook

Rains slow, flood alerts remain

Tropical storm Noul-induced rains have subsided in some coastal provinces, areas of the Cardamom Mountains and the Dangrek Mountains.

Rains in Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Battambang, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Kampot and Kep provinces decreased, but Pursat remains on high alert.

Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha told The Post on Tuesday that Pursat was still flooded but rainwater had receded.

Some flooded areas might not recover for a long time because rains were still falling in the northern part of the Cardamom Mountains, he said.

“Rain-induced floods don’t cause as much damage as Mekong River-induced floods. But the floods impede the development of the nation and local people’s businesses.

“The floods even damaged some national infrastructures and flooded thousands of residents’ houses and several thousand hectares of cash crops,” he said.

Yutha said Cambodia continues to suffer from a low-pressure system. Medium-to-heavy rains will continue to fall in some provinces in low-lying, mountainous and highland areas. In particular, coastal areas will experience much rainfall as well as huge waves and powerful rainstorms.

“To stay clear of possible danger, those who live along the plains close to mountains and along water systems, have to be careful of rain-induced floods. Fishermen in the sea and sea travellers should suspend activities temporarily,” he said.

Pursat city governor Chab Neang told The Post on Tuesday that the Pursat river water levels had receded by 15cm. On Monday evening, the Pursat river water levels reached 5.45m. A 5m level merits an emergency declaration.

“Pursat river-induced floods have damaged more than 200 houses and two pagodas. But authorities built sandbag barricades to facilitate local travel.

“The authorities have also prepared higher ground to evacuate residents from areas facing floods induced by the Pursat river,” he said.

Ung Rotha, the deputy governor of Veal Veng district, told The Post on Tuesday that two wooden bridges in Krapoeu Pi and Pramuoy districts were washed away and damaged completely.

Seven roads in the two districts were eroded by water flow, making them impossible to cross.

“Until now, we are still worried about rain-induced floods. The floods not only affect the daily livelihoods of residents but also damaged some national infrastructures. For the moment, medium to heavy rains continue to fall,” he said.

Pursat Provincial Hall administrative director Khuth Usophea said on Tuesday that besides impacting residents’ houses and damaging many roads and bridges in the two districts, rain-induced floods which occurred over the past few days had washed away a bridge more than 60m long in Phnom Kravanh district. But the floods didn’t endanger or kill anyone.

A preliminary report from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) obtained by The Post on Tuesday said Pursat was hit hard by the floods.

Pursat was the second-hardest hit province by Noul-induced floods, said the report, while Preah Sihanouk province was hit hardest. Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Battambang, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Kampot, Kep and Pursat provinces were all affected by rain-induced floods.

The report also said that nationwide, 12 people had died from floods and lighting strikes and more than 1,825 houses had been flooded, of which 56 were severely damaged.

Since September 17, 210ha of rice, 58ha of cassava and 44ha of cash crops had been damaged. Preah Sihanouk suffered the most damage to infrastructure.

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