A severe storm that struck Banteay Meanchey province last week damaged more than 200 houses in Mongkol Borei and Phnom Srok district, officials said yesterday. “The storm was very strong and the sound was very fierce,” Mongkol Borei district governor Y Long said. “It sounded like an airplane taking off.”
Mr Long reported that in Chmnoam commune alone the storm, which struck on Thursday, had completely destroyed 40 houses and damaged 128 others, in addition to four school buildings, a health center and the police office. Four houses in Rahat Toek commune were also damaged by the heavy rains and strong winds that struck at around 4:30 pm, Mr Long said. By 11:30 pm, the storm had moved in Phnom Srok district, according to deputy district governor Khut Bunchhov, who said that two of the seven houses damaged in his district were completely destroyed. “It was a strong storm. We don’t even know how fast,” Mr Bunchhov said. District authorities informed both provincial and Cambodian Red Cross officials about the situation in Ponlei commune, Mr Bunchhov said, but last week’s New Year festivities delayed assistance from reaching the affected households. Provincial authorities surveyed the damage and distributed money to some of those rendered homeless, Mr Long said of the situation in Mongkok Borei, adding the Red Cross is scheduled to bring food and sleeping materials today.