Officials scrambling to come up with sufficient aid for affected families
Photo by: Photo Supplied
A house sits off its foundation in Siem Reap province after last week's storms.
A STORM that brought heavy rain and high winds to Siem Reap's Puok district Friday evening injured 14 people and destroyed or severely damaged more than 100 homes, Siem Reap Governor Sou Phirin told the Post Sunday.
Tou Kha, deputy police chief for Puok district, said no casualties had been reported.
In all, 446 homes sustained damage, Sou Phirin said, noting that the government had by Sunday evening provided aid in the form of rice, noodles, blankets and payments of 50,000 to 100,000 riel (US$12.14 to $24.28) to 122 families.
But he said officials were scrambling to come up with aid for the other victims.
"We are seeking funding as well as other aid to help those who were impacted by the storm," he said. "It is very hard for us to seek aid because it occurred on the weekend."
He said local officials planned to distribute aid to the other affected families on Wednesday. In addition, he said, they would pay between $8,000 and $9,000 to repair the damaged roof of a primary school in Puok district.
As of Sunday, Sou Phirin said, aid had been provided by NGOs, private donors and the provincial chapter of the Cambodian Red Cross.
Sou Phirin said he led a team of community leaders and aid workers to survey the damage Sunday afternoon.
"We went to the place in order to know the exact number of families who were affected by the storm, so it is easier for us to offer aid," he said.
Storm aided by open space
Tou Kha said the storm was centred on Puok and Daunkeo communes. More than 10 houses in Lvea commune also sustained damage, he said.
He said the storm, the first of the year, was more serious than any that had hit Puok district in recent years. He said a 2008 storm in Puok district's Sasarsdom commune destroyed more than 100 houses.
Seth Vannareth, director of the Department of Meteorology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said the beginnings of a similar storm had materialised in Kampong Thom on Tuesday but that the storm had not been able to gather momentum because of high concrete buildings in the area. The storm in Siem Reap, by contrast, occurred in an open area with few trees and tall buildings, she said.
"We would like to advise people to build houses with strong concrete and plant trees surrounding the house," she said.