Typhoon Expected to Lash Northern Provinces, Worsen Flooding

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Banteay Meanchey authorities inspect flooding in the province on September 26, 2022. (Provincial disaster management)

Typhoon Noru, which is expected to make landfall tomorrow in central Vietnam, will cause flash flooding in northern Cambodia, the weather ministry warned, as other parts of the country are still grappling with incessant rains.

The central and northwestern parts of the country have been lashed with rains over the last few days, affecting more than 12,000 families across Cambodia.

Over the next three days, typhoon Noru will hit the coast of central Vietnam and cross over to bring heavy rain to Ratanakiri, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat and Oddar Meanchey, the Ministry of Meteorology said. Phnom Penh and other provinces are only expected to get light rain.

The flooding was expected near water bodies, especially along the Mekong river and basin, the Saturday statement added.

Oum Rina, director of the ministry’s meteorology department, said Cambodia would only face “indirect” impact from the typhoon, and flooding could result from heavy flows of water from mountainous regions to rivers and streams.

“The upper part will have rains but what is suffering are those lower areas along the waterways,” he said.

Water flows from Thailand could also increase, he added, causing flash flooding in some northern provinces. The ministry was publishing daily updates and had informed people living along the Thai border and near the Dangrek mountains to be cautious.

Rains over the weekend hit most parts of the country, with at least four deaths reported in Banteay Meanchey. The deaths took the total death toll for the entire monsoon to 13, said a National Committee for Disaster Management spokesperson.

Soth Kimkolmony, the spokesperson, said Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey and some parts of Pursat have faced the brunt of the rains, resulting in evacuations and loss of crops.

In Banteay Meanchey, around 5,000 families were affected in eight districts and cities, with more than 200 families having to be evacuated, he said. Around 25,540 hectares of rice and 599 hectares of other crops were affected, with 33 schools and 16 pagodas inundated.

Nearly 6,000 families in Siem Reap were affected by the rains, around 3,000 homes were slightly flooded and 29 houses were seriously flooded leading to some evacuations. Kampong Thom’s Prasat Sambor district had 1,521 families affected, of which 226 families faced serious flooding and were moved from their homes.

More than 60,000 hectares of farmland were flooded, of which nearly 30,000 hectares were damaged.

Ky Lay, Sasasdom commune chief in Siem Reap’s Puok district, said heavy rains hit the commune starting September 21, flooding a nearby canal. “It rains without wind.”

He said, so far, the water had not receded in four villages and if the heavy rains continued it could cause further damage and health issues. 

“If it does not recede by September 29 and continue to rain, it will be difficult. People will face difficulty in living,” Lay said.

He said 70-80 cm of water was flowing strongly under houses, and believed it was the worst flooding in his area in at least five years.

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