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Toll climbs as floods recede

A man stands in floodwater in front of his house while trying to build a makeshift bridge last week in Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district
A man stands in floodwater in front of his house while trying to build a makeshift bridge last week in Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district. Heng Chivoan

Toll climbs as floods recede

The death toll from recent floods has climbed to 20 while rivers engorged with floodwater have completely swept away 10 houses, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management.

In Prey Veng, the body of a police officer who slipped into a river while helping people build a dam was recovered on Friday after the man was missing for two days.

Long Buntheoun, police chief in Prey Veng province’s Sithor Kandal district, said Morng Mun’s body was found floating at 6am. Mun’s family is currently preparing his funeral.

Nhim Vanda, senior minister and vice president of the NCDM, said deaths have been recorded in six provinces.

Vanda said he had inspected Prey Veng, located on the east bank of the Mekong River, and concluded that the water may recede in a few days.

“The water continued receding in some places [in the upper Mekong] causing it to flow to Prey Veng and Kandal, but the situation overall is not too serious and it will recede in a few days,” he said.

Vanda said that as of yesterday, 63 districts in 12 provinces have been affected by the floods, with 38,000 houses suffering some sort of damage and 10 completely destroyed.

The provincial governor of neighbouring Kampong Cham, Lun Lemthai, said the water had receded in parts of the province, but progress remained spotty.

In Kang Meas district, for example, water overflowed structures built to protect the riverbank on Saturday, causing a house to fall into the river. Thirty-six houses were dismantled and moved away in Boeungsa Khangkert village.

“People, officials, monks and myself made major efforts in building a dam and dikes to fight back the rising waters, but unfortunately the structures all collapsed into the river, causing people to panic,” Lemthai said. “But our forces helped bring everyone out of that dangerous place and no one died.”

According to Lemthai, as of yesterday, eight people had died in Kampong Cham because of the floods, and over 4,000 families had been evacuated to 85 hills.

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