The Phnom Penh Post
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 15:03 Tep Nimol
Heavy storms claimed the lives of two children and two others remain missing after the group was swept out to sea in Preah Sihanouk province Sunday.
Hum Khonkhan, 17, and Ngetha Sina, 15, both girls, were found dead. The two missing children have been identified as Deuk Srey Touch, a 14-year-old girl, and Phan Roy, a 17-year-old boy. Rescuers managed to save a fifth child, who has not been named.
Officials blamed intense rainfall and harsh winds for the deaths, adding that ongoing storms hampered search-and-rescue efforts Monday.
"People dare not set out in their boats to look for the bodies because it is too rainy and windy," Yin Bunnath, the province's deputy police chief, told the Post.
The children, from Veal Thom village, Prey Nob district, had been swimming near Ochheuteal Beach in Commune 4, Sihanoukville.
Rough weather ahead
Officials are warning coastal province residents that more severe weather lies ahead and coastal areas should expect to be hit the hardest, followed by the plateau and central plains areas, said Seth Vannareth, director of the Department of Meteorology at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.
Seth Vannareth warned that residents of Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk provinces, some of which have already experienced flooding, should prepare for more storms. "Residents and tourists in the coastal area must be on very high alert for unexpected disaster," Seth Vannareth said.