A new storm headed for Cambodia overnight could flood Phnom Penh and areas of the Mekong river downstream from the capital, adding to the woes of disaster planners already dealing with flooding in Stung Treng province, officials said Friday.
Officials from the National Committee for Disaster Management are watching tropical storm Nesat, the ninth of the season, which could inundate Phnom Phnom with heavy rains through Saturday, said Nhim Vanda, the disaster agency’s first vice-president.
Elsewhere in Cambodia, flooding from Sonca, another tropical storm, had swamped more than 8,000 hectares of farmland and about 2,000 houses, according to an agency statement.
At a news conference on Friday, General Vanda said flooding in Stung Treng was the most severe and officials were poised for evacuations. Flooding was also reported in Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Kompong Thom and Kampot provinces, he said.
“We worry about Stung Treng province if the water goes to 10.70 meters, but now it’s 10.61,” Gen. Vanda said.
Farmers are worried about heavy rains harming rice fields, but he sought to reassure them, saying the storms would only last several days, not long enough to destroy their crops.
“We have seen villagers are happy to have enough water for their rice farming,” he said. “Floods also have advantages and disadvantages.”
Authorities previously reported that two people drowned in floodwaters on Tuesday.