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Tropical depressions combine to form storm

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Flooding in Ratanakkiri province during this week’s storm. FN

Tropical depressions combine to form storm

Two tropical depressions are forecast to consolidate into a single massive storm in the coming days, resulting in heavy rainfall from September 3-9, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology said on Monday.

It said the northwestern and northeastern provinces will be the hardest hit.

Officials forecast the storm to travel along the same path as Tropical Storm Podul less than a week ago, which increased the Mekong River’s water levels to near emergency levels.

Areas near The Dangrek Mountain by the Vietnamese border and coastal provinces, including Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk province are anticipated to be hardest hit – with heavy rain, strong winds and choppy seas predicted.

Damaged villagers’crops

Ministry spokesman Chan Yutha told The Post on Monday that floods had forced the closure of a road in Yeang commune, Choam Ksan district, Preah Vihear province and had also damaged villagers’ crops.

“It has rained in the area for several days and hasn’t stopped as of Monday, but the water did not flood into villagers’ homes, rather it affected their farmland and overran a 600m stretch of road.

“Measures to open dams in the Mekong Basin were initiated to help force water out of the basin to prevent the dam from collapsing and causing further flooding or damage to villagers crops,” Yutha said.

Authorities have appealed to residents living near water to be cautious regarding potential flooding and have requested that children, pregnant women and the elderly move somewhere else.

In Ratanakkiri province, residents of Banlung town experienced flooding and power outages after six power poles fell during this week’s storm.

Lumphat district residents reported the loss of livestock including chickens ducks, pigs and cows, believed to have drowned in floods, Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology director Chan Bunthoeun told The Post on Monday.

“We are paying attention to the severe weather forecast since the sky seems to be very dark and rainfall continues to fluctuate. Right now, floodwaters are beginning to come down, step-by-step,” Bunthoeun said.