Cambodia floods hit northwestern prison, 842 prisoners evacuated

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-10 17:26:52

Floods have submerged a prison in northwestern Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday, forcing the authorities to evacuate all 842 prisoners to detention centers in other provinces.

"The prison is badly inundated and we are moving the prisoners to prisons in neighboring provinces," Phin Sophal, chief of Banteay Meanchey provincial prison, told Xinhua over phone before saying he was too busy to speak.

Sum Chan Kea, coordinator of the local rights group Adhoc to Banteay Meanchey province, said a part of the prison's wall was collapsed by flooding on Thursday afternoon.

According to the prison's report, he said, 500 prisoners are being sent to a detention center in Siem Reap province and the rest sent to a prison in Battambang province.

"In the prison complex, some places, water level is as high as prisoners' waists or necks," he told Xinhua over telephone.

Floods from Mekong River and heavy rainfall have killed at least 104 people and affected about 1.5 million people in Cambodia in the last three weeks, Nhim Vanda, vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said Wednesday.

Some 22,000 families have been evacuated to higher grounds.

Besides, some 250,000 hectares of rice paddy are also inundated, he said, adding that more than 100 km of national roads and over 300 km of gravel roads have been damaged.

The National Assembly of Cambodia on Thursday called on national and international charitable groups to provide emergency reliefs to flood-affected people throughout the country.

"The National Assembly expresses deep sympathy to the families whose members have died during the floods," the parliament said in a statement. "The National Assembly would like to appeal to national and international charitable groups as well as friendly countries to make voluntary donations to help those flood-affected victims."

The Cambodian Red Cross announced on Wednesday that it had provided emergency items to about 11,000 flood-evacuated families.

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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