Last week’s undersea earthquake and resulting tsunamis have unleashed both fear and an outpouring of charity from Cambodia, as coastal authorities warn fishermen to stay close to shore and fisheries officials attempt to dispel rumors of tainted seafood.
Sihanoukville Governor Say Hak said his authorities have taken spots on local television stations, warning fishermen to avoid straying too far from the coast.
Say Hak acknowledged that Cambodia has been spared any effects from the tsunamis. But, he said: “We want the fishermen to help themselves.”
Kampot provincial Governor Puth Chandarith said authorities have also informed the province’s roughly 3,000 fishermen to take precautions when they go to sea.
“They have to make sure they are close to islands,” he said.
But Sith Vannarith, director of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology’s department of meteorology, said last week that Cambodia was not geographically at risk of quakes or tsunamis.
In the wake of the tsunamis, unfounded claims have surfaced of contaminated seafood in Cambodian markets, said In Try, deputy director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ department of fisheries.
In Try suggested that reports of hygiene concerns in neighboring countries affected by the tsunamis have fueled some locals misconceptions.
“There is no sign to prove that our sea is being polluted,” he said.
Meanwhile, several groups in Cambodia are organizing events to assists victims of the disaster.
The Womyn’s Agenda for Change is scheduled hold a lantern floating ceremony from their offices on the Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh on Wednesday evening to raise money and show support for survivors, the organization stated in a press release Monday. People are invited to attend the ceremony and launch a lantern.
In Siem Reap, hotels and the Siem Reap Tour Guide Association have been canvassing for relief funds to be donated to the International Red Cross, organizers said in a separate release Sunday.