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Teenage kayaker drowns in severe Preah Sihanouk storm

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Forty-one structures, including homes, schools and shops were damaged across Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong and Kampot provinces. Police

Teenage kayaker drowns in severe Preah Sihanouk storm

A man drowned near Koh Rong town on Sunday in Preah Sihanouk province after he was swept to sea while kayaking during a severe rainstorm that rampaged through the region. The storm also collapsed a tree onto two homes in Sihanoukville, injuring a girl and two women.

Forty-one structures, including homes, schools and shops were damaged across Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong and Kampot provinces, said National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) senior adviser Keo Vy.

The incidents occurred after 15 tourists were rescued from a sinking boat near Koh Rong town on Saturday and three tourist boats docked in the town sank on Sunday.

Koh Rong Sanloem commune police chief Veth Sopheak identified the drowning victim as 19-year-old Saing Chhouen, a resident of the commune who worked for Moonlight Resort.

Sopheak said Moonlight Resort management reported that Chhouen was kayaking along the beach on Sunday evening when strong waves swept him out of sight.

On Monday morning, after the wind and waves calmed down, another resident in the commune spotted Chhouen’s body floating in the sea about 200m off the coast of Koh Rong town. The witness alerted authorities, who recovered the body.

Sopheak said: “In this case, the expert police concluded that it was a case of drowning because no suspicious marks were found on the victim’s body.”

In Sihanoukville’s Commune III, a girl and two women suffered injuries after the storm caused a large tree to fall on their house on Sunday evening.

Commune chief Kan Loeung told The Post that 12-year-old Chham Chanra and her two neighbours, Om Vanny, 34, and Heng Srey Phea, 36, were injured in the incident. All three victims are residents of Village 1’s Group 1 in Commune III. They are being treated at Chamkar Chek Referral Hospital.

“They injured their heads because trees fell on their homes after heavy rain and strong winds on Sunday evening. Eight villagers’ homes were also damaged during the storm,” Loeung said.

Nationwide, severe storms have killed five people and injured 54 this year, Vy said.

As of August 1, he said 800 houses had been destroyed by rainstorms in the country. Another 4,886 houses, and 55 schools and public administration buildings were also damaged.

During the period, lightning strikes also killed 47 people and injured 34, apart from killing 59 cattle, said Vy.

He called on people to increase their awareness of flash floods, which can happen in regions along the Dangrek Mountains, the northeastern plateau and plains near waterways. There is increased risk, he said, as Typhoon Sinlaku wreaks havoc in the region.

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