Source: Vientiane Times
A hailstorm and heavy rain swept across Kham district of Xieng Khuang province recently, damaging more than 100 houses in the area, officials said.
The District Governor of Kham, Mr Chaiphet Phimvongsa, told Vientiane Times yesterday that the tennis ball-sized hailstones and heavy rain hit many villages in the area, especially the three villages of Naxai, Naxaiy and Tha.
“The roofs of 120 houses were damaged when the large hailstones hit the areas but fortunately, no one was injured,” he said.
Authorities are now mobilising funds from the business sector, especially the proprietors of zinc mines, to help local residents to repair their houses, he added. Many areas in Paek district too were affected by the storm on Monday afternoon and authorities are now surveying the damage, according to the District Governor, Mr Kongthanou Aounsavanh.
The storm also passed over three villages in Sing districts of Luang Namtha province, where three houses were damaged, according to an initial inspection. Authorities are assessing the damage and conducting surveys among the communities there.
In Phongsaly, almost 100 houses were damaged when strong winds hit three village groups in May disrict, according to local authorities.
The storm was preceded by an alert from the Meteorology and Hydrology Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which warned of storms during April 24-26. An additional alert was issued for storms during April 28-May 4.
In Luang Prabang, seven people died in flash floods at Kiewtaloun village in Xiengngeun district over the past two weeks. The flash floods occurred when a tropical storm passed over the province, bringing heavy rain, hailstones and strong winds.
Kiewtaloun was battered by torrential rain and strong winds for almost two hours. The flash floods washed away the homes of two families living by a riverside. Thunderstorms, hailstorms and strong winds could occur throughout the country during May 8-10, the Meteorology and Hydrology Department has forecast. The department issued and urged everyone to be on alert for extreme weather conditions. In the northeast, thunderstorms and squalls are likely in Huaphan and Xieng Khuang provinces during May 8-10.
Light rain, thunderstorms and wind squalls are forecast for parts of Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Bokeo, Luang Prabang and Xayaboury provinces.
Vientiane will be hot with light rain and thunderstorms, while strong winds are forecast for the provinces of Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan and Savannakhet, Saravan, Champassak, Xekong and Attapeu.
People have been advised to keep a close eye on weather conditions and monitor national and local news stations for updates.
The department has advised everyone to be prepared for weather changes with the advent of the hot season.