13 killed, over 12,000 evacuated in Cambodia due to flash floods

Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. - The Phnom Penh Post/Asian News Network

PHNOM PENH, Oct 16 (Xinhua): Thirteen people have been killed and 12,376 others evacuated in Cambodia after tropical storm-triggered rains caused floods in 19 of the kingdom's 25 cities and provinces, a spokesman said on Friday morning.

Seak Vichet, a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said that since the beginning of the month, 193,268 people have been affected by the floods, and 12,376 others have been evacuated to safer ground.

"The floods have killed 13 people so far, including five children," he told Xinhua, adding that the worst-hit provinces included northwestern Battambang, Pursat, and Banteay Meanchey as well as southern Kandal.

The floods have also inundated 47,923 houses and 186,689 hectares of rice and other crops, he said, adding that so far, 12,958 hectares of the affected rice and other crops have been destroyed.

Transportation has also been disrupted, as several major roads in the worst-hit provinces have been closed to avoid damaging their surfaces.

Water Resources and Meteorology Minister Lim Keanhor said on Thursday that further rain, wind, and high waves are forecast from Oct. 17 to 19 because the kingdom is suffering from the impact of tropical storm Saudel, which could lead to further flooding.

"People living in plains, along waterways and near mountains, fishermen and sea travelers should be extra-vigilant to avoid any possible dangers," he said in a press release.

Floods usually hit Cambodia between August and October. Last year, Mekong River and flash floods claimed 30 lives, as storms killed eight people and injured 131 others, according to the NCDM.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Thursday evening visited hundreds of flood-stricken victims at a safe ground in Dangkor district in the southwestern suburb of Phnom Penh.

Speaking to the press after the visit, Hun Sen urged authorities at all levels to continue paying high attention to evacuating affected people to higher ground and providing them with food, clean water, and medical care.

"So far, 13 people have been killed by the floods," he said. "It's a natural disaster in addition to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

He said the costs of damage from the floods have not been estimated yet, as the government has been focusing mainly on saving people's lives at this stage.

According to the prime minister, the government has raised more than US$6 million from charitable people in recent days in order to help the flood-stricken victims. - Xinhua
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