20 killed, over 26,000 evacuated in Cambodia due to flooding: spokesman

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Flash floods in Cambodia have so far left 20 people dead and forced the evacuation of 26,608 people, Seak Vichet, a spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said on Saturday.

Tropical storm-triggered rains caused floods in 19 of the kingdom's 25 cities and provinces since the beginning of the month, he said, adding that 245,428 people have also been affected.

"As of Saturday evening, the floods have killed 20 people," Vichet told Xinhua, adding that the worst-hit provinces included Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Kandal as well as southwestern suburb of Phnom Penh.

The floods have also submerged 59,268 houses and 242,372 hectares of rice and other crops, the spokesman said.

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

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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