Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thousands flee reservoir

Thousands flee reservoir

Villagers in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district row a boat through floodwaters
Villagers in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district row a boat through floodwaters. VIREAK MAI

Thousands flee reservoir

Surging floodwaters led officials to declare a state of emergency at a commune in Banteay Meanchey province on Saturday night after the Trapaing Thma reservoir expanded an estimated 200 metres.

Many of some 2,000 families living close to the Khmer Rouge-era reservoir in Phnom Srok district chose to evacuate after an initial surge pushed the reservoir back 100 metres, Poy Char commune chief Peng Ben Thara said yesterday.

“On Saturday, we declared [the situation] an emergency in case a bad thing happened and we could not prevent it. We know some people have run for safety,” Bun Thara said, adding that rainfall has decreased since Saturday, but officials are remaining vigilant. “We have used sandbags and sticks for fences to prevent the reservoir [from flooding], and we are always on high alert because we do not dare [risk] a break,” he said.

Despite more than 700 people assisting with sandbagging efforts, residents remain worried, 41-year-old Phnom Srok resident Chun Den said.

“Please … [Prime Minister Hun Sen], help add more forces and vehicles, because we currently only have five cars” available, she said.

Due to a recent decrease in rainfall, however, flooding had begun to ease in some parts of Banteay Meanchey, provincial spokesman Ouk Keo Rattanak said.

“Water in some places has receded 20 centimetres because of a decrease in rain for three days, but in Serey Sophorn, Mongkol Borei and Preah Netr districts, water is stagnant,” he said.

National Road 5, connecting Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, remains waterlogged.

More than 1.5 million Cambodians have been affected by flooding and at least 104 killed.

The National Committee on Disaster Management has yet to release new information on the number of people whose health has been impacted by floods and could not be reached for comment.

Increased risk of water- and vector-borne diseases, including but not limited to typhoid fever, acute watery diarrhoea, leptospirosis, hepatitis A, malaria and dengue fever, have been outlined as plausible by the World Health Organization.



  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman