Hun Sen Pledges $290,000 for Flood Victims

Prime Minister Hun Sen pledged 1.1 billion riel, or about $290,000, Friday to assist flood victims especially in southern Cam­bodia, where four children have reportedly drowned and hundreds of families are homeless.

At Friday’s Council of Ministers meeting, the premier said that Finance Minister Keat Chhon had agreed to disburse the money to provide food, medicine and other aid for those who have lost their homes and rice paddies.

Hun Sen also said that he has called for an emergency meeting next week to devise government action plans for the disaster.

“The flood has caused serious damage,” Hun Sen said, noting concern also about floods washing out areas along the Mekong River to the north. “Chhlong district of Kratie province is flooded while major floods keep spreading through the provinces of Kampot and Siha­noukville,” Hun Sen said. “Now four to five teams are assigned to go to the flooded areas to help victims.”

According to local officials, four children in Kampot province had drowned. Heavy rains washed out at least 200 meters of railroad tracks and flooded more than 12,000 hectares of rice paddies in Kam­pot district alone. National Road 4 connecting Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh was closed for two days.

Kampot Second Governor Meng Suon said Friday that National Road 3 from the capital to Kampot reopened Friday.

, but road conditions still were bad. Several districts reported heavy damage, he said. Govern­ment spokesman Pen Thol said Friday that a government commission still is assessing the damage.

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