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Storms kill one, destroy homes

Storms kill one, destroy homes

Authorities are tallying the cost of major storms that battered three provinces in recent days, leaving one woman dead and more than 100 homes and other buildings damaged.

Heng Sim, 64, was badly injured in her home and died on Monday night following storms in Battambang’s Bavel district.

Three other villagers – including a 6-year-old girl – were hospitalised, as 20 homes were flattened and a further 25 buildings, including a school and a pagoda, were badly damaged. The girl was discharged from hospital on Tuesday. Local officials said the storm’s rapid onset caught residents unprepared.

“[There was] just [a] little rain, but within about 20 minutes, the freak storm [struck], causing death, injuries and damage,” said Vath Saron, an assistant to the Ampil Pram Doeum commune chief.

In Oddar Meanchey province, more than 60 homes were left damaged in the district of Trapaing Prasat. No casualties were reported, but the storm was still a disaster, said district police chief By Pengnguon.

“The damage caused by the natural phenomenon costs the villagers’ money when they [have to] rebuild and renovate their houses, and they also lose time for earning a living.”

A day earlier, in Kandal province’s Ksach Kandal district, storms left one person injured, as 24 houses were destroyed and 28 more were damaged.

In a statement last week, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology warned Cambodia could expect to be affected by up to 27 major storms originating in the Pacific Ocean this year. According to government figures, last year, 160 storms caused nine deaths and 87 injuries.

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