Forecasters Warn Of Further Widespread Flooding

Weather forecasters have warned many provinces to anticipate flooding tomorrow (Saturday), especially Borikhamxay province, as the Mekong is expected to rise above the designated warning level.

According to a warning posted yesterday on the Meteorology and Hydrology Department’s website, the Mekong is rising rapidly following prolonged heavy rainfall.

In Borikhamxay the river is expected to rise to 14.09 metres, which is above the warning level of 13.50 metres but below the danger zone of 14.50 metres. In Pakxan district yesterday the water level rose to12.65 metres.

Vientiane residents gather by the Mekong River to observe the rapid rise in the water level. –Photo Soulisack

Deputy Head of the department’s hydrology unit, Mr Pasith Dymanivong, said yesterday “The water level of the Mekong in Vientiane will rise close to the warning level on Saturday. The river is expected to rise to 11.36 metres while the warning level is 11.50 metres.”

The official danger level in Vientiane is 12.50 metres and although the river had reached only 9.55 metres yesterday, it is rising rapidly.

“In Vientiane we forecast that on Saturday the Mekong will rise close to the warning level and will flood some parts of Hadxaifong district and other areas in the south of the city that are on low ground and have no embankment to protect them,” Mr Pasith said.

“River levels will also rise in the south of the country so everyone should be alert to flooding in the coming days.”

Expected water levels can only be published two days in advance and the public should closely follow all forecasts issued by the department, he added.

Today the level of the Xebangfai River in Khammuan province is forecast to rise to 18 metres, which is above the warning level of 17.50 metres but below the danger level of 18.50 metres. On Saturday it is expected to drop slightly to 17.87 metres.

In Luang Prabang province yesterday the Mekong rose to 14.84 metres and is predicted to reach16.59 metres on Saturday. In this area the warning level is 17.50 metres and the danger zone is 18 metres.

Source: Vientiane Times

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