The level of the Mekong river in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces is subsiding as flooding has started to move south through Kompong Cham, already claiming the lives of three people there, officials said yesterday. Since flooding began last week, more than five people have been killed, 8,400 families have been affected, and more than 70 forced to evacuate their homes.
Mao Hak, director of the Water Resources Ministry’s hydrology department, said that, as predicted, water levels began to drop below emergency levels in Kratie yesterday and in Stung Treng on Saturday. However, the water level in Kompong Cham province is rising, he said.
Water levels there increased from 15.11 meters Saturday to 15.21 meters yesterday, but are expected to go down to 15.15 meters today, according to a ministry statement issued Saturday. It added that it was unlikely that flooding would reach emergency levels of 15.5 meters.
In Phnom Penh, river levels were expected to reach 9.36 meters yesterday, up from 9.28 meters on Saturday, and are expected to rise to 9.45 meters by Tuesday.
“The flood emergency level is 10.5 meters high,” Mr Hak said, adding that it was unlikely that such levels would be reached.
Kompong Cham deputy provincial governor Lun Limthai said that two boys, aged 11 and 12, drowned Friday and Saturday in Kang Meas and Kroch Chhmar districts.
“Water is rising slowly. If the water level is between 15.2 meters and 15.5 meters, water will overflow in all the creeks, rivers and lakes in the province,” he said.
Kroch Chhmar district police chief Lay Nguon said that another 8-year-old girl drowned yesterday after falling into floodwaters in Memot district’s Dar commune.
Kratie provincial administration chief Khan Chamnan said that while flood levels are subsiding, a total of two people have died and 30 families have been forced to evacuate their homes.
About 3,600 hectares of rice paddy is flooded and 79 km of roads have been inundated, he added.
(Additional reporting by Phal Sokpheary)