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Rains wreak havoc in northern Cambodia

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Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities decided to temporarily suspend travelling on Ta Mok Bridge in Anlong Veng commune and district due to increasing water levels and strong currents. Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hall

Rains wreak havoc in northern Cambodia

The mountainous regions and plateaus of northern and north-western Cambodia are under increased threat by the mounting rainfall the Kingdom has recently seen.

Citizens’ homes, roads and bridges have suffered damage and could face more danger as the monsoon season intensifies.

Authorities in these flood-vulnerable areas have urged locals and tourists to exercise increased caution during this time.

The administrative director of Pailin Provincial Hall, Un Bunly, told The Post on Monday that 70mm to 105mm of rainfall has covered the Kingdom over the last few days.

The deluge has caused water levels to rise dramatically in rivers and canals in Pailin. Many hectares of citizens’ crops including pineapple, cassava and corn in Sala Krao district’s Stung Trang and Stung Kach communes were badly flooded.

Bunly said: “Authorities are meanwhile quoting statistics and intervening to give food supplies to some families victimised by floods in those areas.”

On Saturday, a 41-year-old woman named Seng Mao drowned during severe rains as she was walking with her husband and daughter across a canal in Pailin which separates Thailand and Cambodia.

The canal was flooded and the current was strong, Bunly said. Mao was from Ponhea Kraek district’s Kandal Chrum commune in Tbong Khmum province.

On Sunday, Battambang provincial authorities made an urgent announcement calling for citizens who live along the Stung Sangke River to be more cautious about floods as water flowed from the mountains and plateaus of the province.

Battambang Provincial Hall administrative director Mul Thun told The Post that some streets and people’s houses in Rukhak Kiri district’s Prek Chik and Bassac communes were flooded due to heavy rain. However, nothing was damaged beyond repair.

Uch Umphiny Sara, the director of the Battambang Provincial Department of Tourism released an announcement urging some resorts located along valleys, canals and ponds to close to protect tourists from any incidents.

He said: “In case they cannot suspend their business in tourist sectors in these resorts, they have to be responsible by advising tourists to increase caution and do not try to swim in these resorts during severe rains.”

Pursat Provincial Hall administrative director Khuth Usophea told The Post on Monday that floods and flowing water from the Cardamom Mountains caused the water level in the province to rise 45cm above the emergency level of 5m.

As a result, some citizens’ homes along the Pursat River were flooded.

Usophea said: “Many parts of National Road 55 in Samrong commune, Phnom Kravanh district were flooded.

“Kampong Lvea Bridge, which was made of wood with a length of over 60m, connected Samrong and Leach communes and was located near Samrong primary school. It was damaged by water and it was broken entirely on Sunday.

“Water flowing from the mountains and the main rivers has decreased to some extent. The sky in some regions has become clear except for Phnom Kravanh district, which has a small amount of rainfall. Safe places have been prepared to evacuate vulnerable citizens,” he said.

Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hall spokesman Chea Piseth told The Post that provincial authorities decided to temporarily suspend travelling on Ta Mok Bridge in Anlong Veng commune and district due to increasing water levels and strong currents.

The water level at the bridge has increased to 25cm above the emergency level of 4.2m, he said.

“Rainfall during the last week affected infrastructures and citizens’ crops in four districts in Oddar Meanchey – Samrong, Anlong Veng, Trapaing Prasat and Banteay Ampil. We still have not evaluated the losses yet,” he said.

The Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology said Cambodia is still under the influence of a low-pressure system and southwest monsoon. Rain will therefore continue falling with different levels of severity, he said.

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