Prime Minister Hun Sen is urging regional officials and relevant ministries to take steps to address problems related to flooding. The call came after rain-induced floods have killed three and forced another 1,100 families to leave their houses in the past week.
In a plenary meeting of the Council of Ministers on Friday, he said: “In response to flooding, ministries and sub-national administrations have to take steps to protect residents in villages. They must do whatever it takes to rescue residents and keep property damage to a minimum.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who is also chairman of the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC), instructed Phnom Penh and provincial governors on Sunday to block traffic on heavily flooded roads to prevent accidents.
“If roads are flooded 3-4 decimetres, block traffic because there is a risk to human life and damage to roads,” he said.
Pursat provincial governor Mao Thonin told The Post on Sunday that he is leading forces to block some flooded roads in the province including National Road 5.
Besides blocking roads, his forces have helped deliver sandbags to block water and used boats, motorboats and army trucks to transport affected residents to higher ground.
“At this time, our authorities are still on the water. We are continuing to check out the situation and will continue to transport people as needed,” he said.
Mol Thorn, head of the Battambang Provincial Administration, told The Post on Sunday that flooded areas in Sampov Loun district and a large number of floods in Phnom Proek district had subsided, but in Kamrieng district, water still flooded houses, ruined crops and killed animals.
“Our authorities are busy helping take residents to higher ground and providing food, tents and medicine,” he said.
Thorn said lorries have been banned since Sunday to protect roads, including National Road 5, until waters recede.
Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Um Reatrey said rain and floodwaters flowing from streams in Thailand had flooded houses in Malai, O’Chrou and Mongkol Borei districts.
“Emergency steps are in place to evacuate residents from flooded areas. We have to think of residents’ safety first,” he said.
A primary report from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) seen by The Post on Sunday noted rain-induced floods in the past week have killed three and another 1,100 families were forced to leave their houses.
The report stated that from October 1-10, floods have damaged roads in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Svay Rieng, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and Stung Treng.
Flooding has damaged nearly 20,000 houses, affected over 38,000ha of rice crop and over 34,000ha of cash crops and damaged 33 schools.
According to the report, Battambang province has been the hardest hit. Authorities have evacuated 498 families. In Pursat, 279 families were evacuated and 285 in Banteay Meanchey.
NCDM spokesman Khun Sokha said rain-induced floods do not generally cause serious damage and the floods do not last long.
He said according to the forecast by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, river waters are not likely to flood low-lying areas.
Authorities are also scrambling to to store water for the dry season.