Severe Storms Destroy Homes, Injure Children in 2 Provinces

Four children were injured and 136 homes were damaged in tempestuous weather conditions that thrashed villages on opposite sides of the country on Sunday, officials said on Monday.

Blustery winds, heavy rainfall and hail descended suddenly on two communes in Mondolkiri province’s Pech Chreada district and five communes in Battambang province’s Kors Kralor district in the afternoon, wreaking havoc on wooden homes, authorities said.

“Three injured kids were treated at the provincial referral hospital and a child with a broken leg was transferred for treatment at the Kantha Bopha hospital in Phnom Penh,” said Pech Chreada governor Nuon Saron, who added that locals had little time to prepare for the wild weather.

The district governor said 36 houses in Krang Tes commune and 24 houses in Pou Chrei commune collapsed under strong winds and heavy downpours, and that some were completely destroyed.

In Battambang, 71 houses were damaged in a storm that swept through Thipadei commune at about 5:30 p.m., according to Kors Kralor district police chief Chhang Vanchhay, who added that no one was hurt.

“When the winds mixed with rain and started to hit the houses, the villagers left their houses to stay outside for safety,” he said, adding that authorities were on the scene to assess the damage and assist locals.

“Provincial, district and local police have come to help the victim villagers and rebuild the houses for them,” he said, adding that he was preparing a formal aid request to the Cambodian Red Cross.

Kith Heang, chief of police in Battambang’s Mong Russei district, said five houses had been damaged across four communes there.

Chan Youtha, a spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said he had not seen such devastating weather conditions in his 20 years at the ministry, though he said that less severe storms were common this time of year.

“The phenomenon of rain with hail, thunder and lightning always happens during the dry season,” he said.

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