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Hun Sen says flood damage is huge: wants more help

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October 11, 2000 


PHNOM PENH (AP) - Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday that damage from Cambodia's worst flooding in history has reached dlrs 79 million, and again appealed for international assistance.

Giving the most detailed account of the flood damage yet, Hun Sen said 700 kilometers (430 miles) of national roads and bridges and 1,500 kilometers (925 miles) of unsealed rural roads were destroyed or seriously damaged.

He said the flood had either damaged oy damaged.

He said the flood had either damaged or destroyed 102 irrigation projects, 988 schools and 121 health clinics. More than 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) of rice paddies were destroyed. The death toll is 252, he said.

The government is facing a "critical situation" even though waters were receding after two months of inundation, he said, speaking to flood victims and government officials in the village of Kompong Reap Krom, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the capital.

His speech was broadcast on national radio.

He said that of the 2.7 million people affected by the flooding, 1.3 million were in "urgent" need of food, housing and medicine.

"As ;oQil. 5, damage costs were estimated at approximately dlrs 79 million," Hun Sen told the audience, reading from a prepared statement.

He praised the work of the government, aid agencies and the generosity of local and international donors, but said moore funds are needed.

"The government must provide aid to an additional 264,000 families," he said, noting that more than 200,000 families had already been reached.

The Mekong River has been gradually receding for a week but most parts of southeastern Cambodia remain submerged. str-cd/vj

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