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Officials Anticipate Slight Lowering of Flood Waters

Cambodia family members wade though flood waters in Croy Changvar village in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.

Disaster officials said Wednesday they expected an ease in flooding in 14 provinces, but they expected the death toll to rise.

At least 61 people have died in the floods, which began in August and have continued to swell rivers and inundate homes along the Mekong River and in other areas.

Flooding has also hit the north and northwest, including the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Preah Vihear and Siem Reap.

“In general, the water will continue to decrease tomorrow and thereafter,” said Mao Hak, director of hydrology for the Ministry of Hydrology and Meteorology.

Nhim Vanda, head of the National Committee of Disaster Management, said the death toll was likely to rise.

More than 90,000 families have been affected, with more than 13,000 evicted. Officials are still gauging the damage to infrastructure and rice fields, in the worst flooding since 2000.

Men Neary Sopheak, director-general of the Cambodian Red Cross, said the organization is expecting more damage and was preparing to distribute emergency kits of mosquito nets, noodles, rice and tents to Prey Veng province, following a similar distribution in Kampong Thom province.