The number of victims of natural disasters rises to 79 for the first half of 2022

Passersby in a flooded street after heavy rain in Kampong Seila commune, Kampong Seila district in Preah Sihanouk province on July 12. TVK

Natural disasters such as storms accompanied by high winds and lightning caused 79 deaths and injuries in the first six months of this year, which represents a significant decrease compared to the same period in 2021, which had claimed 164 lives. and injured.

These statistics were part of the report summarizing the results of disaster management for the first half of this year and the direction of work for the second half by the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), which The Post received on July 21 .

The report notes that weather conditions for the first six months of this year were better than in 2021, with Cambodia experiencing lower temperatures than in 2021 and heavier rainfall during the dry season, which eased conditions. of drought that year.

“Natural disasters caused by climate change, such as droughts, floods, hurricanes and lightning strikes remain challenges and have severely affected the livelihoods of people across the country, especially those living in remote rural areas, lowlands and nearby waterways,” NCDM first vice president Kun Kim said. in the report.

He said that during the last dry season, some areas of Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Prey Veng, Tbong Khmum, Kandal, Pursat, Takeo and Svay Rieng provinces faced water shortages due to the decrease in rainfall which affected 15,073 ha of rice fields. .

He added that these issues were largely resolved through the cooperation of relevant ministries and local authorities, who opened the water valves and pumped irrigation water to the fields in time to save part of the harvest.

He added that during the rainy season, heavy rains continued from late May to early June, causing flooding in lowlands and some towns in a short time, with 13,751 ha of paddy fields damaged in Banteay Meanchey, Tbong. Khmum and Siem Reap province. Of these, 9,813 ha were a total loss.

He mentioned that floods at the start of the rainy season had damaged some infrastructure in rural areas, including two village roads, a wooden bridge and two dams in Kampong Chhnang and Siem Reap provinces.

In Kon Mom district, Ratanakkiri province, seven workers’ flats worth 150 pieces at a banana plantation were flooded, forcing 176 families to evacuate.

During the rainy season so far, there have been two major storms which occurred at the end of June. The first storm saw Cambodia hit by high winds on the beaches and high winds and thunderstorms from the coast to the northwest lowlands, northern highlands and northeast highlands.

Phnom Penh and all provinces except Mondulkiri and Takeo experienced strong winds caused by the storms. The storms left three dead and 18 injured along with 685 homes severely damaged and 2,374 with average damage. Nineteen school buildings lost their roofs, 13 vendor stalls collapsed and six administrative buildings also lost their roofs.

In the first six months of 2022, lightning killed 32 people and injured 26 others, also killing 69 cattle and damaging 11 houses.

NCDM spokesperson Soth Kim Kolmony told The Post on July 21 that their next priority is to reduce the risk of flooding and that NCDM is cooperating with the Department of National Defense’s Disaster Management Secretariat to improve their rescue and intervention skills through training and the provision of relief. rescue equipment and training for all natural disaster rescue teams.

“Currently, NCDM has been cooperating with relevant ministries and institutions at sub-national level to monitor and prepare disaster relief for any event that may occur during the rainy season and require response. We are cooperating in the rehabilitation of affected areas. , both livelihoods and rural infrastructure and cultures,” he said.