Cambodian ministry warns of strong winds, high waves in coastal regions

|    Voun Dara    |

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) – The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology issued a warning last Sunday, especially to fishermen and tourists visiting coastal areas, to be cautious as Cambodia faced a spate of storms this week.

The ministry’s statement said that in the next few days, the northern Philippines will be hit by Tropical Storm Lekima – which is being called Hanna in the Philippines – and Cambodia could be also be affected.

The storm is expected to strengthen into a typhoon over the Philippines and Japan, and could even go through a period of rapid intensification and reach super typhoon status.

In the meantime, the ministry said that Cambodia is also suffering from the impact of the southwest monsoon, particularly in southern regions.

“Please everyone, be careful. We are expecting strong winds of 15 to 20 metres per second, one to two metre waves and flooding, especially in Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk provinces,” the ministry’s statement said.

It said the effects of the monsoon began last Saturday and will continue until today, with heavy rain and strong winds, particularly in coastal provinces.

Provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun last Saturday warned people not to go fishing or swimming in the sea.

Preah Sihanouk province saw unremitting rain, which had flooded roads and other areas for short periods over the weekend. – THE PHNOM PENH POST/ANN

He said storms could cause flooding and damage lowland villages and infrastructure, particularly National Road 4.

Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesman Kheang Phearum said that in the past two or three days, the province had seen unremitting rain, which had flooded roads and other areas for short periods.

“Trees have fallen and two or three houses were destroyed in Prey Nop and Kampong Seila districts, but generally there hasn’t been a great deal of damage,” he said.

Provincial Coordinator for rights group Adhoc Cheap Sotheary told The Post that when Sihanouk ville undergoes long spells of rain, there is widespread flooding of roads and houses.

“This worries the province’s residents. What I’m concerned about most are the children. When they see flooding, they play in the water – but it’s polluted because most of the water comes from toilets and the sewage system,” she said.

Sotheary urged the Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities to keep a close eye on the Chinese development project that’s built over land reserved for a sewage canal which is designed to alleviate flooding.

Separately, in Koh Kong province, provincial hall spokesman Sok Sothy told The Post last Sunday that the provincial administration had issued a statement warning people, especially fishermen, to be wary of storms and high waves.

The heavy rains and strong winds over the last few days had damaged houses in several districts, he said.

“Right now, some districts have suffered badly from the heavy rainfall. The government is surveying to see how many victims have been affected by the storm.

“Some 30 family homes were damaged in Thma Bang and Sre Ambel districts last Saturday, with structural supports collapsing and some houses losing their roofs,” Sothy said.

He said that thankfully no one had so far been killed or severely injured in Koh Kong province.