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Storm destroys 2,302 houses, injures two people in Svay Rieng

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storms destroyed some 2000 homes in Svay Rieng province. Facebook

Storm destroys 2,302 houses, injures two people in Svay Rieng

A total of 2,302 houses were destroyed on Friday in a storm in Svay Rieng province, with many collapsing or having their roofs torn off, National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said on Sunday.

Sar Vanna, head of the Svay Rieng provincial Cambodian Red Cross, also told The Post on Sunday that Friday’s storm injured two people.

“Across all eight districts of Svay Rieng and the provincial capital, Romeas Hek district was affected the most, with 1,991 houses toppled or having their roofs destroyed.

Chantrea district had managed to avoid suffering any damage.

At least 203 people have been killed or injured in storms over the past six months, while 1,183 houses have been badly damaged, with another 9,818 slightly damaged, Vy said.

“Storms have killed four people and injured 77 others, while 62 people, including 16 women and 14 children, have been killed by lightning strikes. Lightning also injured another 60 people and killed 79 cattle,” Vy said.

He said the authorities helped rebuild and repair houses damaged in natural disasters, while the Cambodian Red Cross sent doctors to treat the injured.

“We encourage spreading public awareness about the actions that can be taken to avoid losing property or life in natural disasters. Sub-national and national authorities must continue raising public awareness and preparing equipment to help those affected.

“It is important that people keep track of weather reports and listen to the authorities’ guidance,” Vy said.

Vy told The Post on Sunday that there had been 234 natural disasters over the past six months. This had resulted in 1,183 houses being badly damaged, while 9,818 homes were damaged or had their roofs destroyed, and 53 school buildings were also damaged.

The storms had damaged buildings across 35 locations, he said, including administrative buildings, health centres, rice mills, agricultural warehouses, temples and meeting halls in pagodas.

They had also destroyed 60ha of banana plantations, 413 durian trees, 2,700 Pailin longan trees and 170 cashew trees.

Soeung Sen Karuna, a spokesman for rights group Adhoc, told The Post on Sunday that he was concerned by the amount of damage natural disasters had been wreaking over recent years.

There were many reasons behind this, he said, including global and regional climate change.

He said that besides being affected by natural disasters, Cambodia had also suffered deforestation, the loss of mineral resources and pollution.

“If we compare now with previous generations who had plenty of natural resources, we can see that the number of people killed by natural disasters was lower then.

“In some years, no one was killed by lightning. But today, lots of people have been killed by natural disasters, of which there have been a lot more.

“So we can see that the more humans destroy natural resources, the more nature will destroy us,” Sen Karuna said.

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