PHNOM PENH - More than 80 people have been reported dead, including 39 children, as flooding along Mekong River provinces continues.
Heavy flooding is hitting 12 provinces along the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, as well as Phnom Penh, closing schools and pagodas, as well hospitals, Nhim Vanda, who heads to the National Disaster Committee, told VOA Khmer Monday.
Nhim Vanda said the heavier flooding in recent years was a result of “climate change,” with flooding expected to cost the country $400 million is losses.
This year’s flood has killed 82 people, and has affected more than 800,000 people, he said. Sixty-eight houses have been destroyed, 760 schools and 300 pagodas closed, and 30 hospitals flooded, he said.
The government has meanwhile decided to cancel the annual Water Festival in the capital for the third year in a row, he said. He blamed flooding. But the festival has not been put on since the November 2010 bridge stampede that killed nearly 350 people.