PHNOM PENH - Heavy rains have created serious flooding conditions in at least three provinces, officials reported Tuesday.
Seven people have been killed and thousands more affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom provinces.
Though the rains are expected to let up in coming days, thousands of hectares of rice fields have already been inundated and nearly 450 families already have been relocated, said Keo Vy, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Committee.
In Banteay Meanchey, where all seven deaths occurred, six communes were affected, 246 families relocated, 2,064 hectares of rice fields flooded and 17 kilometers of road destroyed, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
In Preah Vihear, the water has risen about a quarter meter above emergency levels, forcing the relocation of 201 families and inundating 1,573 hectares of rice fields.
Water levels in Kampong Thom have not yet reached emergency levels, but about 850 hectares of land have been flooded, Keo Vy said.
Disaster officials expect the rain to decrease over the next two days, but prolonged storms could mean more damage, Keo Vy said.
In Preah Vihear, “the rain has not stopped pouring yet,” said Kouy Khhunhor, an administrative official there. “If it continues to rain, there will be more flooding.”
Flooding this year has been less than last year, when 18 provinces were affected and 27 people killed.
Keo Vy said the government is preparing for rescue efforts to help relocate families, provide food and provide rice seeds to help recovery.