Photo by: AFP
A Cambodian boy stands on Thursday amid the wreckage of his house, damaged the day before by Typhoon Ketsana in Kampong Thom province.
(Post by CAAI News Media)
Friday, 02 October 2009 15:04 Peter Olszewski and Lily Partland
Siem Reap town submerged as main river burst its banks following typhoon.
SIEM Reap found itself underwater Thursday after the downpour from Ketsana caused the swollen Siem Reap River to burst its banks.
The entire downtown area was submerged in waist-high water, and the city’s social epicentre, Pub Street, was awash.
As of Thursday night, the local death toll had risen to three, with provincial Chief of Cabinet Ly Samreth saying, “The flooding is more serious than before”.
“A Khmer man died in Siem Reap town on Wednesday when he fell into an open pipe and drowned,” he said.
He added that business people were losing money.
“Cambodian people and businesses are losing money because they cannot work,” he said.
“Only 30 percent of the market stalls have remained open.”
National Road 6 was flooded in seven places and 241 schools were also flooded – 95 of which had to close.
Provincial officials reported 17 people injured and 60 homes destroyed, although some rural areas had yet to report.
Observers reported an almost festive feel as children capitalised on the crisis. Some were seen steering remote-controlled toy boats through waterlogged streets; others used polystyrene lids as makeshift surfboards. Several people dragged nets through town in the hope of catching fish.
Upstream, the situation was more serious, with reports of flash floods. In drier rural areas, people complained of being invaded by centipedes and other fauna seeking shelter.
Local authorities said they were preparing food and medicine to take to Sonikum district, which suffered the worst effects of the weather.