More than 80 percent of Koh Kong province was under floodwater on Friday and hundreds of tons of emergency food aid was needed immediately, Provincial Governor Yuth Phouthang said.
Although the flooding had begun to subside, Youth Phouthang said the past week had seen the worst-ever floods in the southeastern province and there had been considerable damage to some 1,000 hectares of rice paddy.
“The rich people in the province have become poor now and some might become beggars if rice donations don’t arrive on time,” the governor said, adding that 300 to 400 tons of emergency rice was needed to feed the affected.
No one, however, was killed during the five days of flooding and the government has already trucked in 200 tons of rice, dried noodles and doctors from the Ministry of Health, he added.
Thach Khorn, governor of Kampot province, said that torrential rains over four days this past week damaged an estimated 10,000 hectares of rice paddy and local authorities are stretched thin in their attempts to alleviate the suffering of villagers.
Emergency food and medicine is needed, Thach Khorn said.
Government officials said it was too early Friday to assess the extent of the damage from the flash floods, which also blocked trucks travelling between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville port.
“We can’t estimate now whether the flood will cause a decline in GDP. It’s too early to say,” said Son Koun Thor, vice chairman of the Supreme National Economic Council.
Although the areas worst hit by the floods have been Kampot, Koh Kong, Sihanoukville and some areas of the northeast, Phnom Penh Municipality also warned villagers living near the banks of the Preak Thnowt River in Dangkao district to be on high alert for sudden flooding.