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Coastal provinces on storm alert

The government yesterday issued a statement to all provinces affected by floods to continue to brace for the worst as a storm is brewing off the coast of China’s Hainan island.

The floods, which started during heavy rain earlier this week, have affected multiple provinces, leading to the closure of parts of National Road 4 and the evacuation of thousands of villagers in Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong and Battambang provinces.

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said that according to forecasts by the Water Resources and Meteorology Ministry, a low-pressure system in the country has caused heavy rainfall in the provinces of Kampot, Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong and Kampong Speu.

He reminded authorities to stay alert in the face of natural disasters.

“All local authorities and related ministries and institutions must be prepared to help and evacuate residents affected by floods,” he said.

The ministry said earlier this week that strong weather will continue to affect major parts of the country until July 24.

“The Mekong Delta areas in Thailand and Laos will be affected,” the ministry said. “It will affect coastal provinces, especially Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk.”

The warning also targeted Tbong Khmum province, where Mekong river water levels are expected to rise up to ten metres.

The ministry added that Chirou and Tonle Bit communes in Tbong Khmum district have suffered from massive flooding after a river bank collapsed, making the communes even more prone to floods.

It added that provincial authorities are now assisting residents living along the river bank to seek shelter.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said yesterday that thousands of people were evacuated during floods in multiple provinces, including Preah Sihanouk.

Mr Vy said that the authorities managed to evacuate a total of 3,820 families in Preah Sihanouk province after their villages flooded.

“Flooding has decreased in Preah Sihanouk, but in Koh Kong and Kampong Speu, many still suffer,” he said. “We have to evacuate those residents before the situation becomes more serious.”

On Wednesday, authorities evacuated 3,501 families in Koh Kong and 109 in Battambang.

Koh Kong Governor Mithona Phouthorng said on Wednesday that four districts in her province were affected by flooding.

Ms Mithona said that local authorities assisted villagers in Mondol Seima, Koh Kong, Thmar Baing and Sre Ambel districts.

Kampong Speu Governor Vy Samnang said yesterday that families in two districts in his province are still facing severe floods.

“In this province, there are about 230 families and more than 1,000 hectares of crops affected by the flood,” Mr Samnang said. “Now, local authorities must help the residents and evacuate them promptly.”

The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration said in a statement yesterday that sections of National Road 4 remained closed due to flooding earlier this week.

Aside from National Road 4, flooding has also affected smaller roads.

Meanwhile, a road leading to a bridge in the province of Kampot was extensively damaged by heavy flooding in the area, officials said yesterday.

Techo Aphiwat commune police chief Captain Mao Mardy said that heavy rain caused water from nearby mountains to flood the road in the commune, causing extensive damage. He said that ten metres of the road were washed away into a ditch.

“The road is important because agricultural goods are transported to Phnom Penh on it,” Cap Mardy said. “The damage was caused by heavy rain. We are now preventing trucks from crossing the section.”

Deputy provincial Governor Chieng Phalla said yesterday that a provincial working group will be sent to inspect the damages.

“We will inspect the damages and our working group will report their findings to the provincial authority,” Mr Phalla said.

Source: Khmertimeskh

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