Once-Mighty Floodwaters Begin To Recede

On a day when the Mekong River rose no further in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen, foreign governments and relief agencies continued efforts to get aid to those who need it most.

The Prime Minister, speaking on Apsara radio while surveying flood damage in Prey Veng prov­ince, said he had canceled Council of Ministers meetings for the next two weeks and would devote every morning for the next month to flood-related problems.

Hun Sen pointed out there was severe damage to ADB-built roads in Prey Veng and Kom­pong Cham provinces. He called on NGOs for money or loans for their restoration.

“The government has prepared a partial budget for troop mobilization, road building and other infrastructure work,” he said. “But we don’t have a lot [of money] in reserve. So we are asking people to contribute.”

Britain announced Mon­day it would give $375,000 to be used for food, clothing and shelter. Two officials from the British Department of Interna­tional De­velopment arrived Monday in Phnom Penh to help assistance teams prioritize the needs of flood victims.

Japan provided $100,000 in cash and $187,000 in relief materials Monday to the National Committee on Disaster Relief Man­agement. The relief materials include 75 six-person tents, 2,200 blankets and 338 rolls of plastic sheets.

The water level in Phnom Penh remained at 11.13 meters for 24 hours and is forecast to slowly drop to 11.09 meters by Thursday.

The best news came from Stung Treng, where the water level dropped 0.26 meters to 11.10 meters in 24 hours, indicating a break in the heavy rains in Laos.

Two young children in Kratie province drowned Saturday when the house they were playing in fell into the water, Kratie Governor Loy Sophat said, adding that the market in Kratie town was still closed and some areas had no electricity.

Battambang province Third Deputy Governor Prak Doeun said at least 200 children and elderly were evacuated ahead of an expected breaking of a dam at Phuom Nik­ham village in Thma Koul district.

 

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