Authorities in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town have warned residents to be vigilant about flooding due to waters flowing over from Thailand as local and provincial officials ready for disaster response efforts, according to Poipet governor Keat Hol.
Hol told The Post on August 3 that after receiving information from Thai authorities about the flooding in Sa Kaeo province, Poipet authorities immediately issued a flood warning to alert everyone living along waterways to maintain vigilance.
He added that authorities were ready to deal with any problems that could occur if the floods reach the province.
"We have gotten information from the Sa Kaeo provincial governor that floodwaters would be flowing over from Thailand. Poipet town is on the border with Sa Kaeo province, so he asked us to inform our people to be ready. We have already alerted the people living along the stream in Poipet. Our authorities have already prepared in case of anything happening and we can evacuate everyone quickly," he said.
Hol said that as in the past, when some provinces or districts in Thailand flooded, it was almost certain that Poipet would bear the brunt.
He said these floods often occurred in Malai, O’Chrou, Svay Chek and Thma Puok districts and the waters inundated people's houses and damaged their property and crops while forcing some residents to evacuate to higher ground.
O'Chrou district governor Yim Samnang said on August 3 that authorities were also ready to evacuate people to safety in the event of flooding.
Samnang said the floodwaters from Thailand mostly caused flooding in border villages because people live near streams in that area.
However, he said the commune now has less drainage than it did in the past due to various factors, so if there was a flood the water would probably stick around for a long time.
Lay Sothy, deputy director of the provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology, said on August 3 that based the information he received on August 2, the floodwaters had not yet reached Cambodia.
He said the floodwaters typically flow from Thailand to Banteay Meanchey via O’Bei Choan commune and Thailand’s Aranh and that this happened every year.
"A few days ago we had rainfall, but not too heavy of rain. It was moderate. But it was raining cats and dogs on [August 3] and so far the weather situation has not changed much, but the water levels have not risen very high yet," he said.
According to an announcement by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on August 2, from August 3-9, parts of Cambodia would be affected by a low pressure valley called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) that would linger across the northern part of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
This will cause strong southwest monsoon winds affecting the coastal areas, which will cause the central lowlands, highlands and coastal areas of Cambodia to possibly experience moderate levels of rainfall mixed with thunderstorms, strong winds and high waves.