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Three drown in Mekong floods

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A family vacates their home in Preah Vihear province due to flooding last year. More than 10,000 families have been impacted over the last month by rising Mekong water levels. Photo supplied

Three drown in Mekong floods

The Mekong River floods have affected more than 10,000 families in four provinces, claiming three lives and causing at least 1,000 families to relocate.

The three fatalities were caused by drowning in Stung Treng and Kampong Cham provinces late last month, according to National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) spokesman Keo Vy, and provincial authorities.

“They drowned on July 29, when they rushed to their farms after returning by boat from voting in the national elections. At the time, the current was very strong and caused their boat to capsize,” said Sem Sitha, Thala Borivat district police chief.

Sitha said the strong currents had also impeded search operations for the victims.

“We’ve just received a report that the homes of 11,917 families had been inundated, while another 1,733 families had moved to safe grounds,” Vy said.

In Phnom Penh, Vy said flood waters have started flowing into Chbar Ampov district.

However, the district’s deputy governor Nop Sopha said there had been no flooding, save for rains that had inundated some homes. No property damage has been reported, he said.

On Wednesday, Kampong Chhnang provincial authorities announced a temporary suspension of traffic on Road 50C from Kang Cheb village in Kampong Leng district to Kampong Thom province.

Vy said 4,270 heads of livestock in four provinces along the Mekong have been relocated, 1,639 hectares of paddy fields and 1,630 hectares of crops were submerged, while 27 schools, seven pagodas and one healthcare centre were inundated by flood waters.

He said floods had also caused the collapse of the river banks, one in Tbong Khmum and three in Kampong Cham province. No damage has been reported, he said.

“Now there are some provinces along the lower Mekong River where roads are flooded, but we haven’t received any reports yet,” Vy said.

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