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Thailand censured for releasing dam water, flooding border area

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Floodwaters in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district on Wednesday. FACEBOOK

Thailand censured for releasing dam water, flooding border area

Flash floods inundated communes in Battambang province’s Phnom Proek district and Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district, where more than 100 homes were overwhelmed by floodwaters from Thailand.

Malai district governor Svay Chea told The Post that 50 houses were flooded in Boeung Beng commune and another 60 houses in Malai commune.

“The rain was not too heavy, but the Thai side opened water gates to let water flow to our side as they were afraid their dams would break. That is why some residents’ houses in the two communes were flooded,” he said.

Chea said Malai district authorities were evacuating people in the affected areas to safer places, providing first aid and assisting with daily needs.

Chea blamed the Thai side for repeatedly not following the spirit of a memorandum of understanding, which states that the Thais must provide advance information about when the gates are opened so that Cambodia can prepare.

He reiterated his call for the Thai side to provide information to Cambodia before deciding to open the dam’s gate.

In Battambang province, Phnom Proek district police chief Song Sopheak said at present, three communes there – Baraing Thleak, Phnom Proek and Buor – are gradually being flooded by downpours.

Sopheak said that at this time, some houses in Buor commune, located at the lower part of the stream, are gradually being flooded while the rain continues to fall moderately to heavy.

“It has been raining heavily for two days in a row, and about 60 houses in the three communes have been flooded with water up to people’s knees. We are worried about whether the rain will continue to fall as the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has predicted,” he said.

According to the recent weather forecast from the water resources ministry, there will continue to be scattered rainfalls nationwide with moderate to heavy downpours, which could cause flash floods in the lowlands, especially the central lowlands, and rainfall catchment areas on the ridge of the Dangrek Mountains and the northeastern plateau.

National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) spokesman Khun Sokha told The Post that at this time, NCDM’s municipal and provincial branches are ready to assist people in vulnerable and flooded areas.

“Currently, each working group has prepared all means, forces and equipment to intervene,” he said.

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