One person drowned Tuesday and seven are missing and presumed dead after their boat was overturned by high winds and waves in Svay Rieng province, officials said.
The accident happened around noon near Kuoy Tra Bek village in Svay Rieng district, according to Svay Rieng provincial Governor Hun Neng. Ten people in the boat were returning home from Prek Chhlak pagoda in Svay Rieng town, where the victims had gone to pick up flood aid.
According to Hun Neng, police were able to pull three people from the water, but only two survived. He said the boat was not overloaded.
Police said they would continue to look for the seven missing people, but conceded it was probably hopeless due to the high wind and waves.
Sihanoukville Governor Ith Dethola said fishermen were urged to monitor radio reports before going out on the water.
Seth Vannareth, director of the meteorology department for the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said Tuesday that the heavy rains and wind should die down today and Thursday, but that overcast skies and light rain would continue in the region.
Residents, and particularly fisherman along the southern coast, have been put on alert as the result of a large tropical depression in the South China Sea.