Two children drowned on Saturday in Kratie province as floodwaters that were already at emergency level continued to rise Sunday across three provinces along the Mekong River, officials said.
The youngest victim, a one-year-old girl from Chhlong district’s Kanhchor commune, died after falling from the porch of her home into the floodwaters, according to provincial administrator Pen Lynat.
The second girl, a six-year-old from Sambor district’s Sre Ches commune, drowned after being swept away by floodwaters from a swollen river close to her home.
“We are disseminating information to people [in Kratie] who live near rivers to be very careful, particularly children and elderly people who are at a greater risk of drowning,” Mr. Lynat said, adding that thousands of cattle have been moved to higher ground.
If the water continues rising authorities will also evacuate families, he said.
“We declare an emergency when the water level reaches 22 meters, but today it has risen to 22.17 meters and we have moved 3,142 cattle to higher ground, while 4,198 homes across four districts are flooded with significant damage to crops and rice fields,” he said, adding that National Roads 73 and 377 were now closed to heavy vehicles.
In Stung Treng province, where floodwaters reached emergency level Saturday, a total of 614 families were evacuated and 1,575 homes flooded. Eight schools have been closed and 86 km of road have been swamped with water, said deputy provincial governor You Pasith.
“The water has been at emergency level since Thursday, but on Sunday morning, the Mekong here rose to 11.48 meters, higher than the 10.7-meter emergency level,” he said.
In Kompong Cham province, where a statement on Friday from the Water Resources Ministry warned that the Mekong could reach 15 meters Sunday, the water level had risen on Sunday to 15.2 meters—also above the emergency level—according to Chou Sokhoeun, chief of the provincial bureau of meteorology.
Last week, flash floods left hundreds of families trapped in their villages, destroying properties and killing livestock in Ratanakkiri province, with heavy rains causing the walls of a canal to cave in and break its banks.