January 17, 2023
PHNOM PENH – After the abatement of heavy rains over the last few days in Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang provinces, the floodwaters there have gradually receded, while the flooding in southwestern Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal province from the Stung Prek Tnaot River remained stagnant.
Authorities have renewed their calls for people who live near lowlands to excercise increased caution, with weather officials predicting that there will be light-to-medium rains from January 20.
Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang told The Post on January 15 that at this time, the weather conditions have improved and the sky is clear with no rainfall. Some flooded parts of Chbar Mon town and the Oral, Thpong and Phnom Sruoch districts, which were inundated a few days ago, have gradually seen floodwaters recede after five water gates were opened at the Roleang Chrey Reservoir Dam.
“At this time, the specialists have decided to close those five water gates at the dam to prevent a shortage of water in the coming hot season because the sky is now clear and there has been no rainfall since January 14,” he said.
In Kandal province and Phnom Penh, although the Stung Prek Tnaot River water levels have not risen further as of January 15, current levels still put some parts of Dangkor district in the capital and Takhmao town in Kandal under threat of flooding if there is rainfall several days in a row as was the case a few days ago.
Kandal provincial Department of Water Resource and Meteorology spokesman Ouk Vanna said that because the water gates at the Roleang Chrey Reservoir Dam were now closed, Stung Prek Tnaot River levels on January 15 had stopped rising.
“However, those who live by this river need to remain vigilant to avoid possible danger, especially pay close attention to the safety of small children and the elderly,” he said.
He continued that the Stung Prek Tnaot River water levels had risen a few days ago because of heavy rains in areas at the upper portion of the river. Rice fields and houses near the river were flooded and the floodwaters had washed out a bridge in Prek Hou commune of Takhmao town.
Authorities in Dangkor district inspected the Stung Prek Tnaot River levels and are using heavy machinery to open the water flow system in some parts of the south to prevent further flooding.
“As an urgent measure at this time, we are intervening to dig open the back of the dam and open the surface water to flow down the canals and the fields in the south to avoid flooding,” said district governor Kim Nhep.
In Kampong Chhnang province, authorities are repairing the damage to roads and bridges after the floods that took place few days ago.
Deputy provincial governor Am Sothea told The Post that the waters had receded and the sky was clear with no rainfall.
“At this time, a team has responded to the natural disaster in the province. We are conducting repairs to the roads and bridges damaged by the floodwaters to facilitate people’s travel,” he said.
He added that the flood had submerged the houses and the crops of residents in some areas in Samaki Meanchey, Kampong Tralach and Teuk Phos districts after three days of rainfall from January 10-13.
Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman Chan Yutha said that waters at the upper part of the Stung Prek Tnaot River have now receded, but downstream in Kandal and Phnom Penh, the waters seemed to have stagnated or even risen slightly, with the ministry taking action to manage the water and prevent further flooding.
Yutha also noted that for now the weather in Phnom Penh and Kandal was not cloudy, with clear skies and little rainfall since January 13.