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Laos Warns Of Possible Flooding In Luang Prabang And Other Northern Provinces

Source: Channel News Asia

The Lao government has warned of possible flooding and landslides in parts of the northern and central provinces, as heavy rain is expected.

Residents have been told to prepare to move to safer areas, said a notice issued on Friday (Jul 27) by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as well as the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Authorities added that the water level at the Nam Ou 2 dam in the northern Luang Prabang province has exceeded the “warning point”. It is part of a seven-dam hydropower project developed by China’s Sinohydro Corp along the Nam Ou River.

The heavy rain warning comes in the wake of Monday’s dam collapse in southern Laos, which left more than 1,100 people still missing. akeshift shelters are packed with thousands of people who fled their homes in panic with just a few hours’ notice of the impending disaster, now spending their days on plastic mats waiting for news of missing neighbours.

It is the worst disaster to hit Laos’s contentious hydropower sector.  The collapsed dam was among the structures in the Xe-Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower project, a joint venture between South Korean, Laotian and Thai firms.

Operators said it burst after heavy rains in a country regularly battered by monsoons.