Vientiane authorities swamped as flooded roads cause havoc


Motorists make their way through a flooded road in Vientiane on Aug 8. -- Photo Economic-Social news

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Heavy rain on Sunday and Monday caused widespread flooding on Vientiane’s streets, with local authorities dispatched to inundated areas to help affected communities.

Authorities went to the villages of Nongneiw, Nonkeo, Phonsavath, Thongpong and Nahae, and to the Lao-Oxy market in Sikhottabong district to assess the situation and oversee clean-up operations.

Motorists make their way through a flooded road in Vientiane on Monday. --Photo Economic-Social news

Many roads in low-lying areas were awash, but the floodwaters receded after the rain abated, an official in charge of the situation said.

He explained that roads quickly became flooded after the night-time deluge because drains were blocked, and authorities are now arranging for work crews to clear blockages so that rainwater can drain off.

In several places, people were forced to sweep water from their houses, while workers attempted to clear flooded roads. A report is being prepared on the details of the flooding and any losses incurred.

Many people decided to stay at home or were late for work, as the rain lasted throughout the morning rush hour.

All regions of Laos have been placed on alert for more heavy rain and wind gusts, with flooding possible throughout the week until Aug 12.

The public are advised to listen to weather forecasts issued by the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.

Weather forecasters say a low pressure trough continues to pass over the north of Laos, while a low pressure system with increasing strength is over the South China Sea.

At the same time, the southwest monsoon will prevail over most areas, which will cause widespread rain with strong winds in some areas of the north, the east, and central and southern regions.

Vientiane can expect light rain, thunder and lightning, and moderate to heavy rain with strong winds in some areas, with 70 per cent of the city affected.

In the north, the provinces of Phongsaly, Huaphan and Xieng Khuang will experience rainfall of varying intensity over 60 per cent of the region.

Also in the north, the provinces of Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang and Xayaboury will have rain, thunder and lightning across 60 per cent of the region. The provinces of Xaysomboun, Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan and Savannakhet will have rain and wind gusts, with rain likely to fall over 60 per cent of the region.

In the south, the provinces of Saravan, Xekong, Champassak and Attapeu can expect light rain, thunder and lightning, and moderate to heavy rain with strong winds in some areas, with rain expected to fall over 80 per cent of the region.

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