Two girls drowned on Friday evening as they swam in Chhlong creek, in Kratie Province’s Chhlong district, local authorities reported yesterday.
Duong Sothy, the district police chief, said that the deceased, Ret Srey Rat, 14, and But Vatey, 7, had gone swimming with a few other children from Koh Kandol village.
Sothy said that according to the children who witnessed the incident, the girls initially swam by the shore but owing to strong currents they were swept into deeper waters and pulled below the surface.
He said the children screamed for help from their parents but they arrived too late.
“To prevent death by drowning, authorities often appeal to the public to be highly cautious with their children . . . [and] not to swim without their parents because at the moment, flooding is prevalent and the stream is strongly flowing,” Sothy said.
He also cautioned adults not to swim alone, adding that “such incidents keep occurring”.
In July, two teenagers in Prey Veng province drowned in similar circumstances after being pulled underwater by strong currents in a river.
A report from the WHO published last year showed that Cambodia has one of the highest child mortality rates from drowning in the region, with 723 deaths for 4.64 million children in 2012.
A Unicef study published in 2012 revealed that the vast majority of drowning cases occur near the home and while swimming with peers.