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Tropical storm Matmo on track to hit Laos

Source: Vientiane Times

A weather alert has been issued for the south of Laos from October 30 to November 3 as tropical storm Matmo makes its way towards the area from Vietnam.

The storm is currently heading westward at a speed of 25 kilometres per hour and is expected to reach southern and central regions of Laos today and tomorrow (October 31 and November 1).

Weather forecasters say the storm is likely to bring heavy rain and strong winds.

The Meteorology and Hydrology Department is warning everyone to be on the alert for storm activity and advises officials and residents in the affected areas to prepare for sudden changes in the weather.

Over the next few days, areas at high risk of heavy downpours, strong winds, landslides, and falling trees include the provinces of Savannakhet, Saravan, Xekong, Champassak and Attapeu.

The last tropical storms to hit Laos were Son-tinh and Podul, which unleashed days of torrential rain across large areas of the country in August and September.

Parts of Vientiane suffered damage as well as the provinces of Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Xayaboury, Xaysomboun, Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan, Champassak, Xekong and Attapeu.

Tropical storm Podul caused damage to schools, houses, hospitals, roads, reservoirs, bridges and farmland, and affected livestock.

More than 175,000 households in 1,466 villages of 43 districts in the nation’s southern and central provinces were affected by the storm.

Floodwaters submerged more than 151,000 hectares of farmland, 251 hectares of vegetable plots and 3,266 fishponds, and more than 252km of roads were severely affected by the floods.

In July, tropical storm Son-tinh lashed northern and central areas, with low-lying areas experiencing wind squalls and flash floods following heavy rainfall.

In May and June, thunderstorms hit 13 provinces, bringing strong winds and damaging electricity poles, houses, bridges, roads, crops and livestock.