Cambodia flood death toll rises to 83, affecting over 800,000 people

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-7 17:52:08

Floods from Mekong River and heavy rainfall have killed at least 83 people and affected more than 800,000 people in Cambodia in the last three weeks, a senior disaster control official said Monday.

"Up to now, 83 people have died of drowning and over 800,000 people in 15 flooded-hit provinces have been affected," Nhim Vanda, vice-president of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), told Xinhua over telephone. "Authorities have been continuing to evacuate affected people to higher grounds as emergency relief from charitable groups and the Cambodian Red Cross have been provided to some of affected families."

Besides, some 120,000 houses and 120,000 hectares of rice paddy are also inundated, he said.

Nhim Vanda said as of Monday, water levels at Mekong River have not posed a concern to northeastern provinces, but flash floods still severely hit some provinces in northwestern cities and provinces such as tourism city Siem Reap Angkor, the provinces of Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin.

"In Siem Reap province, water situation is still at an alarming level as more than 4,000 houses have been submerged and over 6,000 families have been forced to flee their homes for higher grounds," he said.

On Friday, a heavy rain and high wind caused a large tree to collapse on the 12th century Preah Khan temple at the complex of the Angkor Archeological Park in Siem Reap province, Sok Leakna, deputy director general of Apsara Authority, which is in charge of protection and management of the Angkor Archaeological Park, confirmed with Xinhua on Sunday.

He said the tree, up to 30 meters high and 0.8 meter in diameter, fell on the body of the temple when there was a strong rain and wind, adding that a small portion of the temple broke apart and fell down, but there was no any crack or serious damage to the main body of the temple.

Preah Khan temple is located in the Angkor Archeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992.

Floods usually hit Cambodia between August and October. In 2011, the country was hit the worst from floods, killing up to 250 people, according to the NCDM.

Last year, floods killed only 14 people.

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