Villages along Mekong in Laos warned of possible flooding

VIENTIANE (XINHUA) – Villages along the Mekong River and its main tributaries in Laos have been warned to be alert for rising water levels following torrential rainfall in recent days, with people in low-lying areas advised to be prepared for floods.

The Lao Meteorology and Hydrology Department said the Mekong and its main tributaries are currently well below the official warning level but waters are expected to rise following more rainfall in the coming days, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday (Aug 18).

According to an update issued by the department on Wednesday, the level of the Mekong River in Vientiane has risen to 9.41m, which is below the warning level of 11.50m and the danger level of 12.50m.

In Luang Prabang province, the northern hub city of the country, some 220km north of Vientiane, the Mekong has risen to 12.90m, where the warning level is 17.50m and the danger level is 18m.

For various tributaries of Mekong in Laos, the water levels are also below warning and danger levels, the Xong River running through the tourist town of Vangvieng is now 2.14m in depth, where the warning level is 3.50m and the danger level is 4.50m.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos has recently also been informing people living alongside some rivers to watch out for the reservoir water discharged from upstream hydroelectric dams in the country and the neighbouring countries.

The ministry advises people living near the river to prepare for a possible emergency situation.

More rain is expected across many parts of the country and everyone is advised to monitor weather forecasts issued by the Meteorology and Hydrology Department and take precautions if flooding seems likely, the Lao daily reported Thursday.