Homes move due to floods

July 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Coastal erosion became serious enough in Kampong Cham province for authorities to dismantle and move 13 houses along the Mekong.

Officials are planning to do the same for about 100 others to prevent them from falling into the river due to rising water levels over the past few days, Heng Vanny, Srei Santhor district governor, said. Affected homes are located in Koh Andet commune’s Korki village. …


Pech Sotheary

CPP official alleges embezzlement of roads budgets

July 11th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

A senior government official has accused authorities involved in the construction and repair of the nation’s roads of embezzling a significant portion of the money budgeted to them.

Nhim Vanda, the first vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management, on Wednesday added his voice to a small but growing chorus of criticism within the ruling CPP about the state of the country’s roads. …

Phann Ana

Gov’t says it’s ready for floods

July 10th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The National Committee for Disaster Management said yesterday that the government has made provisions for this year’s rainy season.

More than 10,000 tonnes of rice, emergency supplies and rescue vehicles have been prepared ahead of predicted flooding, committee deputy director Nhim Vanda said yesterday at a workshop in the capital. …

Pech Sotheary

Weather damage: Storms ruin dozens of lives, homes

May 12th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

At least 31 people were killed and 64 injured by storms during the first four months of this year, according to figures from the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

Keo Vy, cabinet director at the NCDM, said strong winds and rains led to three deaths and 45 injuries in the first four months of 2014. A further 28 people were killed and 19 injured by lightning in the same period, he said. …

Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Six lightning deaths, dozens of homes destroyed in storms

May 2nd, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

At least six people were killed by lightning this week in storms that destroyed dozens of homes across several provinces, officials said Thursday.

Keo Vy, cabinet chief for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), said that the six deaths had occurred between Monday and Wednesday as a result of lightning strikes.

“Lightning is a natural disaster and we are always educating people, especially those in the countryside, to be more careful,” Mr. Vy said. “We also inform them of weather updates from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.” …

Cambodia has one of the highest death-by-lightning rates in the world, with 7.8 deaths per million people between 2007 and 2011. The worst year on record for lightning deaths was 2011, when 165 deaths were reported.

Ben Sokhean

Flood repair bill under estimate

April 10th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) released a report yesterday showing that only $356 million was spent on the restoration of infrastructure destroyed by last year’s floods – far below the $500 million in damage estimated beforehand.

Nhim Vanda, vice chairman of the NCDM, said that after the floods receded, the committee anticipated $500 million in damage, but that reports showed a much lower repairs bill across the country once local authorities had completed the restorations. …

Sen David

Gov’t seeks cash for flood rebuilding efforts

April 9th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said Tuesday that it needs an additional $217 million from donors and NGOs to help recovery efforts from the floods of September and October 2013. …

A document accompanying the Post-Flood Early Recovery Needs Assessment Report, prepared by the government with the assistance of the United Nations Development Program, shows that the government has received only $88.01 million of the $306 million it needs for recovery efforts. …

More than 31,000 homes were evacuated, 168 people died and the country incurred a total of $356 million in damages and losses in the floods of September and October, according to NCDM figures. …

Matt Blomberg and Ben Sokhean

Weekend storms take heavy toll

April 7th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A weekend storm surge that saw torrential downpours hit the capital had far more dire consequences outside of Phnom Penh, where hundreds of families were affected and at least one man was killed.

At least 675 homes in eight provinces were damaged in sudden thunderstorms that swept the country, officials said yesterday, with eight people injured during the downpours and heavy winds that first began on Thursday evening. …

Khoun Leakhana

Two Killed, 73 Houses Destroyed by Lightning in Northwest

April 3rd, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Officials said two people were killed on Tuesday by separate lightning strikes in Pailin and Kompong Cham provinces as the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology issued a warning about seasonal storms spreading across the country.

Searing temperatures and the approach of wet season ignited the first big lightning storms of the season, causing injuries and damage to property across five northwestern provinces on Tuesday. By the weekend, these conditions are expected to spread across virtually all the country, including Phnom Penh. …

Some 25 houses were destroyed Tuesday night and another 125 damaged during a storm that raged across six of Banteay Meanchey province’s nine districts. At the same time, three people were injured and 48 houses were destroyed in Kompong Cham province. Oddar Meanchey and Battambang provinces also recorded minor property damage. Mr. Vy warned that bad weather will likely cause more damage as the week wears on.

Cambodia has one of the highest rates in the world of lightning deaths. According to the disaster management committee, the rate is 7.8 deaths per million people. Last year, lightning killed 103 people with the majority of deaths in rural areas where farmers often work in the open without shelter. Many Cambodians are also seriously injured by lightning each year, however there is no authoritative government data available on lightning-related injuries. …

Ben Sokhean

Phnom Penh Airport Hosts Full-Scale Emergency Rescue Exercise

December 21st, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

Smoke billowed over Phnom Penh International Airport and people lay on the grass verges near an aircraft simulator on Friday as hundreds of rescue service personnel and firefighters took part in the airport’s fourth-ever full-scale emergency exercise.

Hundreds of soldiers and police, as well as actors playing the role of injured passengers, also took part in the emergency exercise, which centered around the airport’s life-size aircraft simulator, where fire crews battled to put out an engine fire.

“We held this exercise because we want to be prepared,” said Nhim Vanda, vice president of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM). …

Khy Sovuthy

Flooding Caused Evacuation of 31,000 Houses

December 11th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

More than 31,000 households were evacuated and 168 people died across 20 provinces during this year’s rainy-season flooding, according to the Humanitarian Response Forum (HRF), which released its final report on the flooding Monday.

In general, flooding did not affect Cambodia as badly as in 2011, when more than 50,000 families were evacuated, according to the HRF, a network of U.N. agencies and relief NGOs.

“Compared to the events in 2011, floods in 2013 appear to have been less extensive in scale, although in some provinces the impact…was more significant due to a combination of factors such as: unexpected gravity of the floods…longer time for waters to recede, repeated floods and flash floods, limited preparedness undertaken in advance, limited early warning,” the report says.

In Battambang, Stung Treng, Siem Reap, Ratanakkiri, Banteay Meanchey and Pailin provinces, more families had to be evacuated than two years ago, and nationwide, the number of affected families was worse, with about 370,000 compared to 350,000 in 2011, and in Battambang province, 60,000 more families were affected this year. …

Denise Hruby and Ben Sokhean

China donates 1 mln U.S. dollars to Cambodia for flood victims

October 31st, 2013 , Xinhuanet News

China on Thursday donated one million U.S. dollars to Cambodia for the relief of the flood- affected people.

Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo handed over the cash donation to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace in the Cambodian capital.

Bu, on behalf of the government and people of China, extended deep sympathy to Cambodia over the loss of lives due to flooding and expressed her confidence that under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodian flood-affected people would get out of difficulties and rebuild their homes soon. …

Some 113,260 hectares of rice paddies, or 4.4 percent of the total rice field, were completely destroyed. Moreover, about 440 km of national roads and 3,693 km of gravel roads were damaged.

He [National Committee for Disaster Management first vice-president Nhim Vanda] said the damage to property was estimated to top one billion U.S. dollars. …

Xinhuanet News Staff

NCDM Lauds Flood Response, NGO Calls for Better Coordination

October 31st, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) Vice President Nhim Vanda on Wednesday lauded the flood response work of the Cambodian Red Cross and government, at a workshop to discuss the country’s National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction where several participants focused on the lack of disaster response coordination.

Announcing a donation of $250 to the family of each of the 168 people killed in floods since mid-September, Mr. Vanda said a total of $42,000 would be donated as compensation.

“Monitoring and reporting has become the number one priority for disaster risk reduction in Cambodia, but it is difficult when there is a lack of organization and leadership,” said Damien Riquet, a Bangkok-based disaster risk reduction expert working in Cambodia with international development organization PLAN.

“The relevant ministries and authorities are getting involved more and more with disaster risk reduction, they are making great progress, but without coordination between them, they don’t get the most efficient result.” …

Matt Blomberg and Ben Sokhean

Cambodian flood destroys 4.4 pct of rice paddies this year: official

October 29th, 2013 , Xinhuanet News

Recent Mekong River flash floods have entirely damaged 113,260 hectares of rice paddies, or 4.4 percent of the total rice-planted area of 2.56 million hectares, according to an agricultural report Tuesday. “The floods had affected 369,346 hectares of rice paddies. Of the figures, 113,260 hectares were completely destroyed,”Minister of Agriculture Ouk Rabun said in a report submitted to Prime Minister Hun Sen.”Despite suffering from flooding, rice production this year is still expected to achieve good results.” …

Floods had hit the country since mid-September, killing at least 168 people and affecting more than 1.8 million others, Nhim Vanda, 1st vice-president of the National Committee for Disaster Management, said last week. …

Xinhuanet News Staff

Flooding could affect growth

October 25th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

When the extent of flood damage becomes clear, the Asian Development Bank may lower its economic growth forecast for Cambodia to reflect the severity of the aftermath, a senior official with agency’s local office said yesterday.

“It is possible that we will have to revise downward once we get more information,” ADB country director for Cambodia Eric Sidgwick said, cautioning that thought it was still too early to understand the scope of the problem, “we are closely monitoring this”.

On October 2, the ADB kept the rate steady at 7.2 per cent. It also said that in 2014, growth is expected to pick up to 7.5 per cent as recovery catches on in European and US markets. …

Sidgwick allayed concerns over long-lasting damage to the economic this years by comparing the situation to 2011, when flooding and resulting financial costs did not ultimately make a huge dent in growth. He pointed out that rebuilding process may have actually triggered a boost in infrastructure. …

Joe Freeman and Sen David, P.7

Cambodian flood damage estimates top $1 bil.

October 24th, 2013 , Kyodo News

The vice president of Cambodia’s National Committee for Disaster Management said Thursday damage from monsoon-season flooding is now estimated to have topped $1 billion.

Nhim Vanda, who received $320,000 in flood-relief assistance from Japan on Wednesday, said the estimate for this year’s floods affecting more than 1.8 million Cambodians and damaging 344,300 hectares of rice paddies and 440 kilometers of national roads has already topped the $550 million in destruction in 2011, one of the worst flood seasons in recent memory. …