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Savannakhet Districts Hit By Heavy Downpours, Floods

Source: Vientiane Times

Many villages along the Xepon and Xebanghieng Rivers in Savannakhet province have been hit by flooding following heavy rain on Tuesday, with many families and large areas of rice fields affected.

District Governor of Xepon, Mr Vongsavanh Viengmani, told Vientiane Times on Thursday that heavy downpours began in the area on October 6 with numerous villages along the Xepon and Xebanghieng Rivers affected by flooding leaving roads and many hectares of rice fields damaged.

“We are now notifying local people to gather their belongings together and standby to move at any time if the water level continues to rise, especially in at-risk areas,” he said, adding that supplies were needed to help flood-affected communities, especially drinking water, rice, and dry food.

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Authorities are currently carrying out inspections and assessing the damage to farmlands and seeking ways to help residents.
The flooding also affected communities in Vilabouly district with many villages along rivers inundated.

Head of Savannakhet Volunteer Rescue, Mr Bouddy Boupphalasy said 20 volunteers and three rescue boats are now on standby to help people in Xepon district. A second group will also deliver essential supplies, particularly food and drinking water to flood-affected residents.

“Some villages cannot be accessed by road because they were cut by floodwaters, according to initial reports from Xepon and Vilabouly districts,” he said.

The flooding occurred when a tropical cyclone passed over the province, bringing heavy rain.

A weather alert was issued on Monday by the Meteorology and Hydrology Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, that a tropical cyclone would move into southern Laos from October 9-11 with heavy to very heavy rain and strong winds possible for the central and southern provinces.

The alert urged people in at-risk areas to prepare for heavy rain and possible flooding. The public is advised to listen to updated weather forecasts issued by the department and to take appropriate action.

Heavy to very heavy falls with strong winds in the capital and the provinces of Borikhamxay, Khammuan and Savannakhet are likely until October 11, weather forecasters have warned.

Villagers living along the nation’s main rivers have been warned to be alert for rising water levels, with people in low-lying areas advised to prepare for floods.

The Mekong, Nam Ou, Nam Ngum, Nam Xan, Nam Ngieb, Nam Kading, Xe Bangfai, Xe Champhon, Xe Kong and Xe Don Rivers were currently well below the official warning level, according to the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.