August 12, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Flooding has struck several provinces across the Kingdom in the past few days, with varying levels of damage being inflicted.
In Ratanakkiri province, authorities have evacuated people in the lowlands along the Srepok River to higher ground as rising river waters caused flooding in at least three communes on August 11.
Um Sovanna, director of the provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, confirmed to The Post that the Srepok River water level had already exceeded the emergency level – pegged at 12.90m – by 40cm as of press time.
“The weather is still gloomy and the water levels continue to rise, flooding three communes in Lumphat district,” he said, adding that local authorities were assisting in getting residents to safety.
District police chief Khlol Heug told The Post that the flooding had inundated 13 villages in three communes: Chey Uddom, Seda and Kaleng. The water levels began to swell during the night of August 10.
More than 300 households had been evacuated to the emergency locations prepared for their respective communes, he said, noting that the water levels were still rising, albeit more slowly than they had initially.
“We are preparing tents and shelter in safe areas so they are able to comfortably stay there, temporarily,” he said.
He called on residents to remain vigilant and prepare for evacuation should the flooding worsen.
In Koh Nhek district of neighbouring Mondulkiri province, flooding from heavy rains and the overflowing Srepok River had damaged roads and bridges at different locations, as well as forcing some families from their homes, according to provincial administration spokesman Cheak Mengheang.
“The situation is not yet one which we would categorise as high-risk, but our forces are standing by. If the situation worsens and they need to intervene, they are prepared, and have the means to do so. Should it become necessary to evacuate people to higher ground, we will,” he said.
According to an August 11 report from the Koh Nhek district administration, the flooding had covered 250m of a road and inundated several homes in four communes: Nang Khylek, Roya, Sok San and Srey Huy.
A bridge in Nang Khylek commune had been seriously damaged, and the administration had dispatched two boats to rescue those affected by the loss of the bridge.
Soy Sona, director of the Ratanakkiri provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told The Post that the flood had inundated 735ha of rice and other crops.
“If the floodwaters remain for more than a week, the crops will be completely destroyed,” he said.
In Preah Sihanouk province, rain had fallen at a moderate level for the past few days, but grew heavy on August 10, causing minor flooding in communes I, II, and IV. No serious damage had been reported, according to provincial administration spokesman Kheang Phearom.
Phearom told The Post that as of noon on August 11, water levels had started to drop in all three communes.
“Authorities are using excavators to dig canals which enable the water to flow into the sea more quickly,” he said.
He urged residents to remain vigilant and suggested they take heed of weather warnings issued by the administration.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology had previously announced that from August 10-16, the coastal area would experience heavy rain and storms, due to the effects of Typhoon Mulan.