December 21, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Despite the traditional rainy season being over, two days of heavy thunderstorms have drenched residents of Kampot and Preah Sihanouk provinces, said local authorities there.
Mom Kreung, executive director of the Kampot Red Cross, told The Post that since the evening of December 17, the north-eastern monsoon strengthened into rainstorms lashing Bokor town and Banteay Meas and Kampong Trach districts of Kampot province, damaging a total of 1,200 homes, nine schools and one dormitory for monks.
The thunderstorms have even reportedly sunk four fishing boats, though no deaths or serious injuries have been reported according to Kreung.
“At this time, our police forces are carrying out emergency repairs to the houses of the affected residents and donated relief materials are being provided to the affected families to ease the difficulties of their day-to-day living situations,” he added.
He continued that as of the afternoon of December 19, the weather conditions in the province were calm but the temperature was still relatively cool at 20 degrees Celsius.
In Preah Sihanouk province, the provincial authorities renewed their calls for residents to watch weather developments carefully, especially fishermen and those living in the Koh Rong area, who were asked to temporarily suspend work and travel by boat.
Koh Rong town governor Nuon Bunthol told The Post that at this time the thunderstorms were still hitting the coastal area resulting in huge waves, so the authorities have issued a ban on navigating the waters for tour boat operators and fishermen, who have been warned to remain vigilant due to the rough seas and large waves.
“At this time, our residents have been asked to halt navigation and fishing and to stay at home safely and follow the information from the weather forecast from specialists,” he added.
He continued that despite having two days of the thunderstorms, the homes of the residents of Kong Rong town had not been affected, though thousands of homes residents of Prey Nop district had been damaged.
Y Thearin, district governor for Prey Nop, told The Post that two days of thunderstorms had badly damaged nearly 2,000 homes in five communes: Teuk Thla, Teuk La’ak, Samaki, Veal Rinh, and Choeung Kor, but none of the residents have sustained injuries or had their lives endangered.
“At this time, the thunderstorms are calm and our police officers are helping carry out repairs on the homes of some residents,” he added.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology forecast that the north-eastern monsoon would continue to be active until the weekend and those living in the coastal areas must remain vigilant due to the heavy rains and dangerous sea conditions.
According to National Police data on natural disasters in 2022 obtained by The Post, over the past year rainstorms have caused two deaths and 44 injuries, while lighting strikes have killed 68 and injured 36 others.