Death toll rising as floods wreak havoc in Cambodia (update)

Phnom Penh, Oct 16 (dpa): At least 18 people have died as a result of ongoing flooding in Cambodia, the country’s disaster authorities reported on Friday.

The death toll from the National Committee for Disaster Management included eight children, state news outlet Agence Kampuchea Press reported.

Heavy rain in late September and October has caused flash flooding in 19 of the country’s 25 provinces, impacting more than 200,000 people.

Some 25,000 people have been evacuated to higher ground.

More than 50,000 homes and some 439 schools have been flooded.

Floodwaters have also damaged more than 130,000 hectares of rice fields, as well as infrastructure including roads and bridges.

On Thursday evening, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visited communities to the south of capital Phnom Penh which have been submerged by floodwaters.

"The current priority of the Royal Government is to rescue people from the flood-affected areas," he said, according to Agence Kampuchea Press.

Xinhua also reported that Seak Vichet, a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said on Thursday that tropical storm-triggered rains have caused floods in 19 of the kingdom's 25 cities and provinces.

He said 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.

Also, he said the floods have inundated 47,923 houses and 186,689 hectares of rice and other crops.

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.
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Cambodia , Floods , Havoc , 18 , Dead , 200 , 000 Impacted


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