Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Rainy Season Starts Early this Year

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Oum Rina, Deputy Director of the Meteorology Department in the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, announced that due to climate change and the changing direction of the monsoon winds, the rainy season will start earlier than last year.

“The wind has changed direction from the Northeast to the Southwest and will cause more clouds, winds, rains and thunder in the coming weeks and months.”

The rainy season generally starts in mid-May and ends in October, but the rainy season in this year has started early, said Rina.

This year’s rainy season will have a higher volume of rain than last year with strong winds and thunderstorms, especially in Cambodia’s wet lowlands, he said.

Rina said this year’s weather patterns are similar to 2006’s rains and will contribute to a shorter dry season, which is expected to begin in July in low land areas, but is not occurred at the seaside areas.

According to predictions by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, as an average there are about 27 storms originate from the South China Sea compared to the 22 storms in 2008.

“I think that it is good for our farmers to begin their planting and farming activities for this year,” Rina said.

Cambodian has three seasons. The first is the cool season that usually takes place from November to February. The second is the hot or dry season that takes place from March to May. The third is the rainy season that takes place from June to October.

Long Saravuth, Deputy Director-General of the ministry’s Techniques and Hydrography Department, said that due to more rains, there will be a risk of flooding in lower areas and provinces this year.

To prevent the floods, the ministry, in collaboration with other concerned ministries and local authorities, are working to repair old water irrigations and dams as well as construct new ones in the outskirts of Phnom Penh and other priority provinces, Saravuth said.

The ministry also conducted training on how to take care of irrigation systems, escape flooding and other life skills so and officials will be able to inform and help the poor in case of flooding situations.

Puy Sok, 55, a farmer living in Baseth District in Kampong Speu province, is happy with the news of early rains. He and his family have owned five hectares farmland for the past 10 years.

“If there is more rains as the ministry predicted, I will prepare and start my planting activities next week,” he said. “I hope that with these rains I will be able to do more planting this year.”

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