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Strung Treng flood rescue efforts continue through elections

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Cambodian soldiers evacuate residents by boat from the floodings in Stung Treng province on Thursday. AFP

Strung Treng flood rescue efforts continue through elections

As the nation was in an election mood on Sunday, authorities revealed more than 1,400 families were impacted by floods in Siem Pang and Sesan, Strung Treng province after the collapse of a hydropower dam in southern Laos on Monday evening.

The water which spilt into Siem Pang and Sesan, located about 70km from the Laos border, forced thousands of villagers to flee their homes since Monday, as Cambodian rescue workers grappled to relocate them to higher ground and provide shelter, food and clean water to the victims.

Stung Treng Provincial Hall spokesperson Men Kong told The Post yesterday, that villagers braved the floods to cast their ballots – joining millions of other voters who also went to the polls throughout the Kingdom.

“People in Sesan and Siem Pang districts cast their votes after the polling stations of these two districts were relocated from the flooded areas to safer locations.”

Authorities are still trying to estimate total damages in other areas such as Kampong Cham, Kratie and Tbong Khmum provinces, located along the Mekong River, following the flood tragedy.

Kong said the water level has receded in the last few days, but it was still considered at a danger level, and people were relocated to safe zones.

“We are studying and evaluating the total impact. The final estimate is that over 1,400 families were affected by the floods,” he said.

He said some people who lived in Sesan district returned to their homes as the situation improved, but the water level in Siem Pang district had not yet decreased.

While there is some reprieve from the floods, authorities are still on high alert due to the rainy season, as provinces located along the rivers and sea are still vulnerable to flooding.

Kratie Provincial Hall spokesman Pen Linat told The Post yesterday that the water level of the rivers had risen substantially and inundated some areas, thus causing severe damages.

“In some areas, crops [like rice and corn] cannot be harvested in the villages,” he said,

A Krouch Chhmar district resident in Tbong Khmum, said there is no flood threats in her district yet but only Tbong Khmum district faced flooding.

“There is no flood so far and if it comes, we will move to the area near Street 4, located in Pob Taknuon village,” she said.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology’s said in a statement issued on July 28, that Tbong Khmum river’s water level continued to rise to 14.03 metres and flooded the road stretching over 1km.

Traffic came to halt after the water level in the district rose between 0.5 metres and one metre.

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