August 1, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Floodwaters are affecting several provinces in Cambodia, with some stretches of highway bought to a near standstill following several days of heavy rains, especially in the coastal provinces.
The Preah Sihanouk provincial public works department was also forced to close several sections of road, including National Road 4, owing to flooding at the Stoeung Samrong Bridge between kilometres 115 and 116 and the O’Koki Bridge between kilometres 106 and 108.
“We have suspended vehicular traffic on the national road until further notice to guarantee the safety of passengers. Please find an alternative route or use the expressway,” it stated.
Heng Sophorn, head of the department of water resources and meteorology in Preah Sihanouk province, said on July 30 that waters had receded at the Stoeung Samrong Bridge, but authorities were not yet allowing the public to use the road. The authorities have deployed four powerboats to carry people and motorcycles.
“The residents of three or four houses have also been evacuated,” he added.
Kep provincial governor Som Piseth led an inspection of the situation, instructing machinery operators to widen canals to release floodwaters on July 29.
He noted that in addition to the heavy rains, some drainage systems were clogged due to ongoing upgrade work on National Road 33, exasperating flood conditions.
The Department of Public Works and Transport in Kep province announced on July 30 that National Road 33A from the White Horse Roundabout via the beach to Damnak Chang’aeur Market in Takeo province was closed to heavy vehicles until further notice, in order to protect the roads from suffering further damage.
Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang said that although the province had not suffered serious impacts from the flooding, the closures to National Road 4 in neighbouring Preah Sihanouk had affected traffic to and from the province.
According to Kampong Speu provincial police, on the morning of July 30, police officers rescued two Chinese nationals who had tried to drive through deep flood waters at the O’Koki Bridge on National Road 4.
Prum Kim Cheu, chief of Kampong Trach Khang Lech commune in Kampong Trach district, Kampot province said on July 30 that water levels had steadily risen until they were chest deep. At least half of the district’s homes were flooded.
He added that evacuations were underway, as the commune reckoned with the most serious flooding in living memory.
In Battambang province, the Samlot district administration issued a caution to people living along the Kranhung and Sung Sangke rivers to remain alert, as the headwaters of the two rivers were swollen by heavy rainfall.
The administration added that water levels in Samlot commune had risen, but had not yet affected people’s crops or homes.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology earlier forecast that from July 26 to August 1, the Kingdom would be impacted by a prolonged low pressure system over the upper Mekong basin through Thailand, Laos and central Vietnam with a moderate southwest monsoon.