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Siem Reap storms cause havoc at Angkor park, damaging homes

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A number of trees in the Angkor area collapsed on Sunday due to strong winds. Photo supplied

Siem Reap storms cause havoc at Angkor park, damaging homes

Two days of consecutive rainfall with strong winds felled seven large trees at the Ta Phrom and Angkor Wat temples, and the Angkor World Heritage Site in Siem Reap province on Sunday.

The storm damaged 89 structures in Pailin and Banteay Meanchey provinces, including houses, schools and monasteries, according to a Monday report from local authorities.

Apsara National Authority spokesman Long Kosal confirmed on Monday that seven Scots pine trees, as well as other smaller trees in the Angkor area, collapsed on Sunday due to strong winds. The temples themselves and homes in the area were unaffected, he said.

“Among the collapsed trees, four were at Ta Prohm, one at Angkor Wat, and two others in a village in the area. However, it did not affect the temples. Meanwhile, expert authorities are removing the collapsed trees,” said Kosal.

Pailin provincial information department chief You Pov told The Post on Monday that rain and strong winds in the province damaged five houses in two villages in Pailin commune on Sunday.

Local businesses also suffered damages.

“Rain mixed with wind on Sunday afternoon caused many commercial signs to collapse on motorbikes, completely destroying three of them.

“Five mobile phone sellers’ shop roofs at Pahy market were blown away, which destroyed a lot of products and phones, totalling about $35,000 in damage,” Pov said.

Last Monday, a woman was killed by a lightning strike while driving in a rainstorm in Sala Krao district’s O’Andong commune. Ten homes were also destroyed in the storm.

In Banteay Meanchey province, Sunday’s storm, which concluded two days of consecutive rain, damaged 53 houses in Thma Puok district and 31 houses in Poipet town.

Governor Keat Hul confirmed 31 houses were damaged and added that electricity poles collapsed in Phsar Kandal and Nimith communes.

“The Poipet unified committee commander and I are intervening in fixing citizens’ houses and giving food and materials to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

Thma Puok district governor Deab Chhun said on Saturday that rain and strong winds damaged 53 houses in the district. “Among the 53 damaged houses, 11 were destroyed,” he said.

A school’s roof and a monastery were blown away in Banteay Chhmar and Kouk Romiet communes during the same Saturday storm.

According to a Monday report from the National Committee for Disaster Management, lighting storms have killed six people this year.

Seven others sustained injuries, two cows were killed, and over 2,000 structures were severely damaged as well.

The report said Battambang province suffered the most destruction, followed by Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap and Pursat provinces.

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