Widespread flooding wrecks havoc in Laos

Flooding caused by the recent storms in Laos has left at least 46 dead, 97 missing and four injured, according to the country’s National Disaster Prevention and Control Committee.
Flooding in Attapeu
Flooding in Attapeu

Some 82,460 families with 236,188 people in 79 districts of 14 provinces were affected by floods after tropical storms Son Tinh and Bebinca brought torrential rain from the middle of July to the middle of August.

As many as 11,383 people have been displaced and now live in temporary shelters. About 120 schools have been damaged, posing a big challenge to the country as the new school year will begin on September 1.

Over 62,900ha of rice fields and nearly 42,000ha of vegetables have been flooded, 208 irrigation systems have been destroyed, and thousands of livestock and poultry have died. Many roads and bridges have also been damaged.

Meanwhile, an assessment of losses is still underway in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province where Sepian Senamnoy hydropower dam collapsed. Lao officials said six out of the 13 affected villages were completely wiped out by the flood.

Thanks to the ongoing support from various sectors, friendly countries and international organisations, a considerable quantity of relief supplies have been distributed to those in need, said the committee.

From July 24 to August 17, over 15 million USD was donated as relief aid for victims.

According to the committee, Laos is in urgent need of tents, toilets, electricity, clean water, food and medicine.

Authorities in charge said they have encountered difficulties in transporting relief supplies from warehouses in Vientiane, Attapeu and Champassak to temporary shelter centres amid continuous heavy rainfall that cut off roads, damaged bridges and covered Sanamxay district in deep mud.-VNA