Breaking News

Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, October 23, 2017

Headline

Flooding From Dam Washes Out Homes, Rice Fields in Southern Cambodia

Evacuate villagers in time to prevent

Share on Facebook September 16, 2015, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 454

news

Local government officials in a southern Cambodian province failed to evacuate villagers in time to prevent their homes and rice fields from flooding after the operators of a Chinese-built hydropower dam informed them a day earlier that they would open the facility's gates to release excess water from heavy rains, an official said Wednesday.

The operator of the Kamchay Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Kamchay River in Kampot province had informed local authorities on Tuesday to prepare for flooding because it had to open the floodgates of the facility's dam, said Chhouk district governor Ouk Lay.

"The company had informed us to evacuate villagers to a safe zone," he told RFA's Khmer Service, adding that the flow of water was too great to for authorities to contain once it had been released.

The water from the dam flooded nearby rice paddies and the homes of 1,571 families in three communes in Chhouk district, he said. ?

So far, no one has died in the floods, and local authorities are evacuating villagers and evaluating the flood damage, although they have yet to complete any estimates of the destruction, he said.

"We have rented boats to evacuate the villagers," Ouk Lay said. "The water is rising slowly, and the Red Cross is handing out [packages of] instant noodles to villagers directly at their houses. They are safe."

Chhem Phalla, a villager whose house was flooded after water was released from the dam, said the flooding started on Tuesday and spread to several areas.

"The water is rising," he told RFA's Khmer Service. "The villagers have lost their livestock and their belongings. We assume that when the water recedes, fruit trees like the banana and papaya trees, will have been destroyed." ?

The government's meteorological service has forecast heavy rainfall until Friday.

The U.S. $280 million, 194-megawatt dam located on the Kamchay River supplies electricity to Kampot, the capital Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province.

It was built and is operated by the Sinohydro Kamchay Hydroelectic Project Co. Ltd., a local subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction company Sinohydro Corp.

The dam was Cambodia's first large-scale dam project built to ease the country's chronic energy shortages.

Chinese-backed hydropower projects constructed in Cambodia's Mekong River region, including dams in the southwestern provinces of Koh Kong and Pursat provinces, have all raised concerns among locals and rights groups about their social and environmental impacts.

Copyright 1998-2014, RFA. Published with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

More Euro Asia news of the month

Photos Ancient temple site in Cambodia earns UNESCO World Heritage status

PHNOM PENH - The U.N. cultural organization added an ancient temple site in Cambodia to its world heritage list, the government said on...

Photos Cambodia’s Courts Are Government ‘Tools’ Targeting Activists, Opposition: Report

Cambodia's government is using its control over the judiciary to silence rights campaigners and opposition activists ahead of local...

Photos Cambodia’s Environment Minister Says Land Concession Problems Solved

Cambodia's environmental minister claimed this week that problems stemming from the country's economic land concessions were...

Photos Cambodia Denies Sam Rainsy Arrest Warrant Was Politically Motivated

Cambodia's Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on Thursday dismissed claims that a court decision to issue an arrest warrant for Cambodia...

Photos Cambodia Can Benefit From Lessons Learned From Myanmar Vote

Myanmar's historic general elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party has come out on top offer valuable lessons for...

Photos Trafficked Cambodians Return Home After Years on Thai Fishing Boats

More than 200 Cambodians who were victims of human traffickers and endured years of hardship on Thai fishing boats returned home on...

Photos Asylum-Seekers Land in Cambodia Under Controversial Australian Deal

PHNOM PENH - The first four asylum seekers who have been held on Australia's behalf on the Pacific island of Nauru arrived in...

Photos Cambodians and Vietnamese Clash Over Borderland

A clash between Cambodians and Vietnamese soldiers over a swath of disputed land in a border district separating the two countries in...

Photos Chinese Activist Seeks Political Asylum After Escape to Cambodia

A prominent Chinese rights activist who escaped the country to be with her husband following a travel ban imposed on her by Chinese...

Flying Reimagined

Stock Index

Monday, October 23, 2017

Life Style

Photo Gallery

FEUILLETON