Authorities Hope to Avoid Typhoon Nari Effects as Floods Recede

Typhoon Nari hit Central Vietnam on Tuesday, leaving five people dead and causing more than 100,000 to be evacuated as authorities in Cambodia said they hoped that the westward-moving storm would not have any significant impact on the country’s now receding floodwaters.

On Monday, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology issued a warning alerting provinces near the border with Vietnam to prepare for heavy rains the storm may bring.

Despite the ministry’s prediction that the water level of the Mekong River could rise again, Oum Ryna, deputy director of the ministry’s department of meteorology was hopeful that Cambodia would be spared serious knock-on effects.

“We have already issued the notification to warn people to be ready for this storm but so far the storm has caused only 20 to 30 millimeters of rain and has not yet in­creased the level of floodwater,” he said.

Nhim Vanda, first vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said Tuesday that the flooding situation would continue to improve.

“New flooding in Cambodia has so far stopped and the level of the Mekong River has lowered,” he said.

According to Tuesday’s figures, so far at least 122 people have died, 25,000 families have been evacuated to safety areas, 120,000 houses flooded and about 1,500,000 people in total have been affected. About 250,000 hectares of rice field, 35,000 hectares of other crops, 1,220 schools, 378 pagodas and 57 health centers have also been flooded.

Mr. Vanda said that the priority for the NCDM was to rebuild or repair some 400 km of national, provincial and rural roads that had been damaged, while aid agencies would help the families affected by flooding.

“The Cambodian Red Cross, NGOs and especially [Catholic aid agency] Caritas have done so much in helping people in each affected province,” he said.

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