Torrential rain in Vientiane yesterday morning caused traffic chaos on the second day of the new school year as flooded streets and sidewalks caused further delays on the already congested streets.
The storm was fairly localised but the rain was so heavy that many of the city’s roads and houses were soon flooded, making the many potholes even more difficult to navigate than usual.
Many streets in Vientiane were soon blocked with traffic as office workers and schoolchildren struggled to reach their destinations on time. The flooded roads meant that everyone had to drive in low gear, causing long lines of traffic to back up.
Mrs Bouasoy Luangnikone, who lives on Thadeua Road, told Vientiane Times it was impossible to get her children to school. Their house is near the Lao Tobacco Company and the children attend the Vientiane Hanoi Secondary School.
“Usually I drive my son to school in my car and there are always traffic jams but this morning the streets were flooded,” she said.
Mrs Bouasoy said there was no way her son could get to school on time because their route was flooded in four places.
Deputy Director General of the Meteorology and Hydrology Department, Mr Khammany Khounphon, said yesterday that the heavy rain created flooding almost instantly because of poor drainage.
Fortunately, although the rain was very heavy, it was intermittent. The water on the roads receded fairly quickly, but if it had continued for many hours the streets would have been submerged for a long time, he said.
The department estimated that more than 100mm fell in Vientiane yesterday morning and the inadequate drainage system meant the roads were quickly inundated. Normally that amount of rain would fall in the whole of one day, and would still result in flooded streets.
Some local residents feel that the large amount of road and bridge construction in Laos requires more study of efficient drainage so that fewer roads are flooded in the future. The Vientiane Urban Development and Administration Authority is currently working to clear drainage channels and storm water drains around the city.
Some small drains running from main roads are not linked to the main drainage channels or are not yet sealed. People who live near drainage channels can help solve the problem by making sure sure they are free from rubbish and obstructions.
Source: Vientiane Times