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Tonle Bassac warning as man dies in floods

Tonle Bassac warning as man dies in floods

Water levels in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces have begun to subside, provincial officials said yesterday, after several days of flooding left about 300 homes partially submerged and caused at least one death.

On Friday, a 76-year-old man drowned in Kratie’s Sambor district.

“He fell off his front steps into the floodwater while bathing,” Kratie provincial governor Kham Phoeun said yesterday.  

“He was attempting to use a bucket to shower, but he slipped and fell and his family couldn’t save him.”

He estimated that water levels will return to normal in “about ten days”, at which point, he added, the 1,700 cattle that had been evacuated to higher ground would be returned to their owners.

I am concerned that ... those 200 hectares of rice will be damaged

About 1,000 hectares of transplanted rice seedlings have been inundated in Kratie province alone, but Kham Phoeun remained optimistic.  
“Rice seedlings can survive underwater between seven and ten days, and I think the water will have completely subsided by then,” he said.

Loy Sophat, Stung Treng provincial governor, was less hopeful.  

“The flooding has affected more than 200 hectares of rice seedlings in Stung Treng province and caused 47 families to evacuate their homes,” he said.  

“I am concerned that, if the water recedes too slowly, those 200 hectares of rice will be damaged.”

Mao Hak, deputy general director of the technical department at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said yesterday that floodwaters in both provinces were abating gradually, adding that water levels in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces stood at 10.5 and 21.6 metres high, respectively.

Flooding peaked on Saturday, with standing water measured at 10.78 metres in Kratie, and 21.74 metres in Stung Treng.  

But he also warned that families living along the Tonle Bassac River, especially in Kandal’s Sa’ang district, would experience flooding within the next several days as Mekong swells flow downstream.

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