More than 230 families remained displaced from their homes last night in the flooded outskirts of Phnom Penh as water levels continued to rise amid collapsed dams and continuing rains.
About 100 military police officers were stationed on both sides of a burst dam in Dangkao district, watching over raging currents and attempting to construct a makeshift bridge out of sandbags using at least three excavators.
A local resident watches flood water rush over the collapsed Sandor Dam in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district on Tuesday. (Rayna Stackhouse/The Cambodia Daily)Villagers in the flooded area set up camp on higher ground, erecting tents on raised roads and hoping for floodwaters to wane, municipal governor Pa Socheatvong said.
Two earthen dams on the Prek Thnout river, which flows through the area, have burst since Sunday night. The first, in Kompong Speu province, collapsed at about midnight on Monday after two weeks of heavy rain, including three consecutive days of downpours.
A surge of water rushing downstream broke through a second dam on Monday afternoon in Dangkao, forcing hundreds of villagers out of their homes.
Currents rushing over the broken dams have flooded six communes and 30 villages, sparking the evacuations of 235 families by local authorities, Mr. Socheatvong said.
Local residents and officials look watch flood water rushes over the collapsed Sandor Dam in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district on Tuesday. (Rayna Stackhouse/The Cambodia Daily)On Tuesday, the worst-flooded areas were inaccessible, with roads into four communes cut off from one another because the lower dam, which doubled as a bridge, had been knocked over.
Tin Sam Ourn, a 47-year-old villager in Dangkao, was woken up at 2 a.m. on Monday morning to her house taking on water. She rushed her family out and pitched a tent on the raised road next to her home and spent the rest of the night watching the rising water.
Ten of her chickens were trapped in a cage and killed, and one of her motorbikes was destroyed, she said.
“I am really worried for more floods,” Ms. Sam Ourn said. “This is the worst flood since 1991. In my house, it was up to my knees.”
phearun@cambodiadaily.com, stackhouse@cambodiadaily.com
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