At least five people suffered minor injuries while 16 houses and about 200 stalls at two markets in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town were levelled after a powerful storm struck on April 4.

“The rainstorms were terribly strong. Five people sustained minor injuries, and there was much property damage. Some 200 stalls at Star Viga market and the night market were destroyed and 16 houses collapsed,” Poipet town governor Keat Hol told The Post on April 5.

The provincial administration has now sent forces and some materials such as zinc and timber to help repair the houses and clear up the debris to prevent dangers.

While intervening to repair the houses in Sameakki Mean Chey village, commune chief Phok Lorn told The Post that this was the strongest natural disaster ever to hit the commune.

“Our Poipet commune used to suffer floods after it had rained heavily. But we developed and built a drainage system to release rainwater. The commune is no longer flooded. However, the unprecedented rainstorms seriously affected and damaged our houses and property,” he said.

He added that police and personnel from Military Units 513 and 514 as well as 50 village security guards in the province provided assistance to repair and build houses.

“On the morning of April 6, the working group will continue to help repair 10 houses,” he said.

Besides the repairs, the town and provincial authorities brought along donations for distribution to victims. One family received a box of noodles, a carton of fish sauce, a carton of soy sauce and 25kg of milled rice.

Separately, rainstorms on April 4 hit Oddar Meanchey province, affecting eight houses in the communes of Ampil and Beng in Banteay Ampil district. But no villagers were in danger, according to Banteay Ampil district police chief Khul Phin.

“The local authorities and villagers have gathered to repair houses damaged by the rainstorms,” he said.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Seak Vichet told The Post that provinces hit the hardest by rainstorms and lighting strikes early this year were Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Oddar Meanchey.