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Storm floods homes in Kampong Speu and threatens Stung Treng

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Recent storms have dealt a blow to locals in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied

Storm floods homes in Kampong Speu and threatens Stung Treng

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on Monday called on residents living along the Sekong, Sesan and Srepok rivers in Stung Treng province to be more vigilant against floods.

The announcement came after the river levels rose due to Tropical Storm Linfa and the low-pressure system affecting the region. Heavy rainfall has besieged the area for consecutive days, causing flash floods in parts of the lowlands along waterways and catchment areas of some provinces in Cambodia.

The ministry said: “Both of these influences are pushing the water levels of the Sekong, Sesan and Srepok rivers in Stung Treng province to rise rapidly, which could lead to further flooding in parts of the lowland areas next to the waterway and the plateau of this province.”

These factors have also caused the Mekong River water level to rise in Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham provinces. However, the level is not yet considered dangerous.

The ministry also urged all relevant ministries, authorities and people, especially people living along the three Strung Treng rivers, to be more cautious.

For provinces affected by the rivers, measures must be taken to open water gates to release water to canals, reservoirs and the lowlands.

Stung Treng Provincial Hall spokesman Men Kong told The Post that as of 10am on Monday, the Sekong River had risen to 10.52m, close to the alert level of 11.50m, while the water level of the Mekong River at Stung Treng station rose to 7.15m, which is 4.55m lower than the alarm level.

“Although the water level of the Sekong and Mekong rivers has not yet risen to an alarming level, heavy rains for several days in a row have caused flash floods around people’s houses, affecting more than 1,000 families in five communes of Thala Barivat district.

“At the moment, our authorities are intervening to help people in the affected areas,” Kong said.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang told The Post that flash floods and water from the mountains and some streams and rivers had caused a dam to collapse in Thnal Bot village, in Thpong district’s Omlaing commune on Sunday night.

“The collapse of the dam caused the houses of 170 families to be flooded. Eleven houses were completely damaged by the floods. But it did not affect the lives of any people,” Samnang said.

Samnang called on all people, especially people living in the lower part of the province’s Chan Thnal Reservoir, to be cautious. He said the water level in some reservoirs and rivers had been continuously rising.

He said those near the Roleang Chrey water gates and along the Prek Tnaot river should exercise increased vigilance and be prepared for floods.

The collapse of the dam in Kampong Speu and heavy rains also caused flash floods in parts of western Phnom Penh, causing a temporary suspension of traffic on some streets in the capital.

Water resources minister Lim Kean Hor led a technical team on Sunday night to inspect the back of the Prek Tnaot river dam, which controls water flows in western Phnom Penh and Kandal province.

During the inspection, the minister ordered the team to put sandbags on the back of the dam at a height of 0.50m to prevent the flooding of people’s houses in the lower area.

“The water level continues to rise, but there is no danger to Phnom Penh yet, as the ministry’s technical team has closed many holes along the dam and guarded it 24 hours for a week already,” Kean Hor said.

He also called on construction companies, private firms and citizens to maintain the size of the old waterways to ensure effective drainage in a timely manner, otherwise, Phnom Penh will be threatened.

From October 1 to 12, flash floods inundated Kandal, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Stung Treng and Svay Rieng provinces as well as the capital. A total of 11 people have been killed and more than 1,200 families have been evacuated to safer places, according to National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Khun Sokha.

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