Seven Dead, Families Displaced in Banteay Meanchey Floods

Flooding in Banteay Meanchey province has claimed seven lives and left 200 families displaced in the past week as rain and rising rivers saturate the northwest of the country, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

Kompong Thom, Battambang, Kratie, Stung Treng and Pursat provinces have all been affected by heavy rains, but Banteay Meanchey was the worst hit, said Keo Vy, the committee’s deputy director of information.

“Banteay Meanchey has been most affected by the floods,” he said. “About 2,592 families have been affected, 192 houses have been flooded and many hectares of rice fields and other crops have been destroyed.”

“Seven people have died there, including three children, and 200 families have been evacuated to higher ground,” he said.

Uy Sam Ath, director of disaster management at the Cambodian Red Cross, which has set up camps to house those displaced by the floods, said he had not heard of the deaths.

“I get two reports daily from our people in the area and there has been no report of any deaths,” he said from his office in Phnom Penh. “People have been displaced but it is only a temporary situation. The water levels are under control now.”

A state of emergency was declared in Preah Vihear City on Sunday after the Stung Sen River surpassed 11 meters, and 356 families there have been evacuated to a Cambodian Red Cross camp on higher ground.

City governor Nut Saophoan said he is awaiting the arrival of aid from World Vision.

“World Vision will arrive [today] with gifts of rice, sugar, salt, fish sauce, soy sauce and cooking oil,” Mr. Saophoan said, adding that waters were still rising in the two evacuated communes, Palhal and Kompong Branak.

“If we average the water levels across the two communes, the level rises by 20 to 25 centimeters each day,” he said. “At least 227 homes have now been flooded.”

Mr. Vy of the NCDM, said that in 2012, 27 people died in floods in Cambodia, and that in 2011, when the country saw the worst floods in a decade, 250 people were killed.

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