Death toll rises to 18 as floods wreak havoc in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Oct. 16, (dpa/GNA) - At least 18 people have died as a result of ongoing flooding in Cambodia, the country’s disaster authorities reported on Friday.

The death toll from the National Committee for Disaster Management included eight children, state news outlet Agence Kampuchea Press reported.

Heavy rain in late September and October has caused flash flooding in 19 of the country’s 25 provinces, impacting more than 200,000 people. Some 25,000 people have been evacuated to higher ground.

More than 50,000 homes and some 439 schools have been flooded.

Floodwaters have also damaged more than 130,000 hectares of rice fields, as well as infrastructure including roads and bridges.

On Thursday evening, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visited communities to the south of capital Phnom Penh which have been submerged by floodwaters.

“The current priority of the Royal Government is to rescue people from the flood-affected areas," he said, according to Agence Kampuchea Press.