Weathermen Lift Flood Warnings


The weather has returned to normal for the time of year and the wind and heavy rain that was forecast from September 13-15 has abated.

Earlier in the week a storm was detected over the South China Sea and predicted to cross parts of Laos, with the potential to cause serious flooding.

The Weather Forecasting and Aeronautical Meteorology Division of the Meteorology and Hydrology Department has now updated its forecast and says river levels in the main provinces are below the danger level.

Local weather forecasters in several at-risk regions said communities that are traditionally affected by flooding need not be concerned because rainfall is decreasing and river levels are also dropping.

In Xekong province, the rain ended yesterday after hours of downpours that began on Monday and continued into Tuesday.

The level of the Xekong River fell from 12 metres on Tuesday to 6-7 metres yesterday. If it rises above 15 metres, there is a risk of flooding which would seriously impact riverside communities and farmland.

Some communities on low- lying ground were under water on Tuesday but the floodwater has receded and the situation is back to normal.

Parts of Khammuan, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces also had heavy downpours on Tuesday, as did Vientiane overnight and during yesterday, but the rain eased in the afternoon.

In Champassak province, the Mekong reached a height of almost 9.38 metres on Tuesday and rose to 10 metres yesterday.

A provincial official told Vientiane Times the water had risen because of heavy rainfall in Pakxe district.

It is expected that the Mekong will rise further even though the rain has stopped due to water flowing down from areas upstream. However, at present the river is still well short of the 11-metre danger level.

The Meteorology and Hydrology Department has provided a new forecast for the north and south of the country as well as Vientiane for September 15-18. In the northwest and northeast, light rain and strong winds are forecast for some areas of Luang Prabang and Xayaboury provinces, while in the south there will be light rain in some areas of Champassak, Saravan, Xekong and Attapeu provinces.

The central region will experience showers with lightning and strong winds, including in some parts of Vientiane.


Source: Vientiane Times