PHNOM PENH, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- 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 6 million U.S. dollars from charitable people in recent days in order to help the flood-stricken victims.
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.