Xayaboury residents hit hard by flooding after downpours

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Some 19 families in nine villages of Kaenthao district, Xayaboury province, were affected by flooding after heavy rains this week.

Some 6 billion kip in property damage was reported but luckily no deaths or injuries occurred.

Kaenthao district Governor Samlane Souvannasod said that from May 16-18 the district was lashed by torrential rain causing widespread flooding in low-lying areas.

The 19 families involved were affected to varying degrees, and lived in Chomkeo, Thaokaen, Meuangmor, Nabone, Pakkhaem, Huaybouha, Vangpoun, and Phuan villages.

The flooded area included eight hectares of rice fields. Livestock was also lost including two buffaloes, and 60 ducks and chickens, while two fish farms were inundated. Two tractors and three motorbikes were also destroyed with the total damage amounting to 400 million kip.

In addition, six roads in the district were damaged and landslides were also reported.

Samlane said the water level has now dropped as it is no longer raining.

Last year, farming families in many parts of the country were hit by flooding in the rainy season and lost many hectares of crops. Almost 200 families in Botaen district, Xayaboury province, lost some or all of their crops, according to provincial authorities. The flooded area included 60 hectares of rice fields, 56 fish farms and some houses.

In Borikhamxay province, some 900 families in communities along the Nam San river including six villages in Borikhan district were affected by flash flooding with over 300 hectares of farmland partially submerged, including 262 hectares of rice fields and 65 hectares of cassava.

And in Pakxan district about 1,000 people were cut off from neighbouring towns and districts because of flooded roads with some villages having to resort to transport by boat.

From May to October, a number of tropical storms are expected to occur in the Pacific Northwest region while a few of these storms may move across regions in Laos, according to the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.

The public is urged to be alert to the possibility of sudden weather changes, with high temperatures, thunderstorms, hailstorms and tropical storms all possible. Landslides may also occur in northern and central regions, along with flash flooding caused by heavy rain, and everyone is advised to listen to weather forecasts issued by the department.

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