Despite the recent rainfall in Phnom Penh, the wet season will not begin until Tuesday, five days later than last year, the government’s chief meteorologist said Sunday.
“Of course, today it looks like the start of the rainy season,” said Seth Vannareth, director of the meteorology department at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.
“Technically, we speculate that the rains will start May 2.”
She did not explain how her office pinpointed the precise start of the monsoon.
Farmers should get ready to plant wet season crops, she said, adding that rains will be heavier at the start than at the end of the season.
So far this year, rainfall across Cambodia had been “about normal,” she said, with about 10 cm falling in coastal areas, 5 cm in Phnom Penh, 9 cm at the Tonle Sap Lake and over 12 cm in the provinces bordering Vietnam.
Nouv Saroeun, director of the sewage office at the Public Works Department in Phnom Penh, said the city is trying to reduce flooding during the rainy season.
In the dry season, between 100,000 and 150,000 cubic meters of water flow through city sewers, said Nouv Saroeun. But each instance of rain adds between 30,000 and 50,000 cubic meters to the flow.
The city’s seven sewage pumping stations are all currently functioning and would not be affected by ongoing power outages, Nouv Saroeun said.
The three most flood-prone areas of the city are Wat Phnom, Boeng Kak lake and Kampuchea Krom boulevard, he said, noting that flood waters usually recede in two to three hours, six at the most.