Sunday, October 16, 2011

Flooding claims 250 lives, as Cambodia's response continues

Chun Sakada in Voice of America: The government raised the national death toll from ongoing flooding to nearly 250 on Friday, as Cambodia continues to grapple with its worst flooding in a decade. More than 30,000 families have been pushed out of their homes in flooding that began in August. About 390,000 hectares of rice crop have been damaged, along with 2,700 kilometers of roadways in 17 provinces, according to government estimates.

The government has set aside more than $100 million to help repair damages, Hun Sen said Friday. Relief efforts so far have included food and clothing deliveries to some 76,000 families, Hun Sen said. The Council of Ministers will provide more money to extend the relief efforts to another 40,000 families, he said.

International assistance has meanwhile started coming in, he said, with China providing $8 million for assistance, Japan $330,000 and the US $50,000.

However, some opposition officials have been critical of relief efforts so far. “Some measures to rescue people seem slow up to now,” said Nhem Ponharith, secretary-general of the Human Rights Party. “We really have concerns about the lack of food and medicine in the future."...

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