Friday, September 11, 2009

Rough weather to continue

Photo by: TRACEY SHELTON
A vendor sells sandwiches to motorists amid the downpour in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

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We have six boats prepared for helping victims if the water rises higher.
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The Phnom Penh Post
Friday, 11 September 2009 15:03 Tep Nimol and Mom Kunthear

Ratanakkiri officials prepare for evacuation as government says it is unsure when destructive rains and floods will cease

OFFICIALS in Ratanakkiri province said they were prepared to evacuate roughly 2,000 families in two districts where water levels surged to 13 metres Thursday, as a week of wretched weather continued in three provinces across the Kingdom.

"There has been flooding in five communes within those two districts," said Pav Hamphan, Ratanakkiri's provincial governor.

"There will be one more district affected by floods if the rain still falls every day."

No one had been reported injured as a result of the Ratanakkiri storms.

The head of one of the affected districts said officials were prepared for an evacuation.

"We have six boats prepared for helping victims if the water rises higher," Kong Srun, Lumphat district's governor, told the Post Thursday.
"I think those boats are enough for us because the water isn't rising fast enough to make us worry," he said.

Wet weather nationwide
Three provinces - Ratanakkiri, Kratie and Kampot, where two men drowned earlier this week - have been hit with flooding, said Ly Thuch, deputy president of the National Committee for Disaster Management.

But he said the conditions weren't yet severe enough to spark a countrywide flood alert.

"The water isn't high enough yet," Ly Thuch said.

"We will issue an alert when the water reaches 22 metres."

In Kratie province, water levels had swollen to 17 metres in five districts, said Chen Hong Sry, the province's deputy chief of Cabinet.

Floods in Kratie destroyed almost 2,500 hectares of rice paddies and more than 1,200 homes on Wednesday.

After days of rough weather throughout the country, meteorologists were unable to say Thursday when the rains would end.

"I don't know when it will stop," said Seth Vannareth, director at the Department of Meteorology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

"I will announce later if [the rain] affects more people and when it's expected to end," she added.

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