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Stung Treng bridge collapses as floodwaters plague nation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kong Sen Chey bridge in Stung Treng province has collapsed due to erosion from floodwaters. provincial information department

Stung Treng bridge collapses as floodwaters plague nation

At least 69 houses along the Mekong River in Kampong Cham province have been relocated since the beginning of this month because of a collapsed riverbank.

In the meantime, the 260-metre Kong Sen Chey bridge over the Sekong River in Stung Treng province’s Siam Pang district collapsed over the weekend.

Stung Treng Provincial Hall spokesperson Men Kong told The Post on Monday that the bridge, located near the Cambodian-Lao border, collapsed on Saturday due to heavy rainfall that caused the land to subside.

“We have sent engineers to investigate and assess the damages. The collapse was caused by flooding due to the heavy rainfall daily, which made the land underneath subside at one end of the bridge.

“The bridge was constructed nearly one year ago, but the floodwaters gradually swept away the land at one end of the bridge. It broke almost in its middle on Saturday, disrupting traffic,” Kong said.

Fields submerged

Since the beginning of this month, floods have submerged 5,068ha of residential land, over 2,000ha of agriculture land, 1,637ha of rice fields and 244ha of agriculture crops. It also claimed four lives.

In Kampong Cham province, Khorn Bros, head of the permanent secretariat of the Committee for Disaster Management, said flooding had affected 37,170 families in nine districts that comprise of 54 communes and 280 villages.

He said flooding had submerged 7,032ha of rice fields in the districts – three hectares in Koh Soutin, 427ha in Stung Trang, 4,965ha in Srey Santhor, 201ha in Choeung Prey, 1,256ha in Batheay, 112ha in Prey Chor, and 68ha in Kampong Siem.

Flooding in the province has so far inundated 28,451 homes, 49 pagodas, seven mosques, 80 schools, six health centres and 17 bridges, while 4,869 people have been evacuated. Livestock totalling 5,661 animals have also been relocated to 15 different hills.

Bros said that flooding had also caused the river bank to collapse.

“We relocated 69 houses from the river bank for fears of further collapse. All the families have moved to higher grounds for safety,” he said.

Separately, on August 27, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held an internal meeting to lay out measures in the event of flooding and drought in the Kingdom.

The meeting was held after the Mekong River floods and flooding triggered by heavy rainfall inundated more than 10 provinces and killed 30 people, while drought also ravaged eight other provinces.

The National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy told The Post on Monday that the Mekong river floods continued to affect six provinces – Stung Treng, Kratie, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Cham, Kandal, and Prey Veng provinces – last month.

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