In slightly more than a month, more than 234,000 people have felt the impacts of flooding in Phnom Penh and 11 of the Kingdom’s provinces. A senior official from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) warned that heavy rainfalls are forecast to continue until the end of October.

NCDM spokesperson Soth Kim Kolmony reported on October 24 that from September 16 to October 19, 253 communes in 63 towns and districts in Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Preah Vihear, Pursat, Battambang, Kratie, Kamong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Pailin and Kampong Speu had experienced flood conditions.

A total of 58,654 households – totalling 234,616 people – live in the affected areas.

Kim Kolmony explained that the flooding was caused by heavy rains. He said that 32,373 houses, 176 schools and 39 pagodas were inundated by the deluge.

In addition, 51,645ha of rice fields were flooded and 19,625ha were so far recorded as damaged. Grazing for 10,039 head of cattle was also affected, along with 549km of roadways.

“We have not yet make evaluations of the rice fields where the water is yet to recede. Once the water levels have subsided, our specialist officials will ascertain any further damage to agricultural lands and infrastructure,” he said.

He added that rescue teams from government agencies and several NGOs have provided assistance and material support to 10,276 families who were affected. While rescue operations remain underway, Cambodia is expected to be affected by another low pressure front which will cover central Thailand to the South China Sea from October 24-28. During this period, the monsoon will flow from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to Cambodia, according to an October 24 announcement by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

“During this period, the low pressure front will cause moderate rainfall, along with thunderstorms, in the coastal provinces, as well as in Phnom Penh and the central provinces. It is expected that between 50 and 60 per cent of the country will be affected,” added the warning notice.

The ministry called on the public to remain vigilant to the weather conditions, especially the potential for flash floods.

Several areas around Phnom Penh, especially along the Stung Prek Tnaot River in the capital and Kampong Speu province, have been affected by flooding in recent days. While Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology Thor Chetha announced on October 21 that he expected the flooding to recede, more recent forecasts appear to have contradicted his expectations.