Flooding Swamps Paddy In 5 P Vihear Districts

Flooding has inundated about 1,200 hectares of paddy field in five districts in Preah Vihear province following heavy rainfall, Pro­vincial Agriculture Department Dir­ector Poeng Trida said Wednes­day.

Water levels in Stung Sen river, which flows from the Dangrek Mountains through the affected districts of Choam Ksan, Kulen, Chey Sen, Tbeng Meanchey and Ro­vieng, rose sharply after a week of heavy rains, flooding farmland belonging to more than 1,200 families, Poeng Trida said.

Preah Vihear Provincial Cabinet Chief Song Bun Leang said the flooding began Sept 11 and reached dangerous levels around Sept 17. Water levels have not yet subsided, he said Wednesday, adding that Kulen and Chey Sen districts were the hardest hit.

The flooding has displaced some villagers and provincial authorities have provided food and tents, Song Bun Leang said.

Meas Sam On, an official with the provincial disaster committee, said that none of the displaced people is currently sick, but he added that a lack of safe drinking water is the main health concern.

Provincial medical staff are pre­paring to supply chloramine, a water disinfectant, to affected families to­day, Meas Sam On said.

Poeng Trida added that the ex­tent of the damage to rice fields would not be clear until water levels subside.

About 50 percent of the rice plants in the 1,200 hectares could be damaged if the floodwaters remain for more than 10 days, while damage to the plants could be up to 100 percent if flooding lasts longer than 15 days, he said.

Long Saravuth, director of meteorology at the Ministry of Water Re­sources and Meteorology, said Wed­nesday that heavy rains in the northern provinces were caused by tropical storms.

A new storm, Hagupit, is on the way but does not pose a flood danger, Long Saravuth said, but added that his ministry has issued a warning to villagers and local authorities along rivers to observe water levels as a matter of precaution.

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