The Laotian Times brings our readers an updated list of some of the most shared topics in the Lao social media this past week, based on reach and engagement on Facebook.
The Sangthong Storm
A video clip (dated March 2nd) of a massively powerful storm with strong winds hitting Sangthong District (Vientiane Capital) has gone viral. The video shows several men taking refuge in a home while gale-force winds uprooted small trees that collapsed on parked motorbikes nearby.
Here are more pictures of the damage that was done to several houses outside of Luang Prabang by the same series of storms.
Laos-China Railway Update
Here’s an exciting 360-degree aerial view of the Laos-China Railway, taken from Nakhounoy Village in Naxaythong District (Vientiane Capital).
And Then There Was 1.5
The Lao social media mob expressed its dissatisfaction that a road, designed to have three lanes, now only has one and a half lanes for movement of traffic. The reason: illegally parked cars. A notice on February 27th by the Vientiane Urban Development Authority was issued to reaffirm the rule that motorists were prohibited from parking on footpaths and lanes meant for the movement of traffic.
This particular post depicts many cars parked diagonally in a semi-ordered fashion, suggesting that either a private entity was organizing this kind of blatant violation of the law or simply a matter of improper driver habits. In any case, both require a combination of collective behavioral rectification or mandatory policing of road rules.
Fire in Khammouane
On the morning of March 4th, a fire erupted quickly and demolished a house in Thakeak (Khammouane province). Villagers nearby can be seen helping to carry possessions away from the house. Comments focused, in particular, on one of the villagers rushing to carry a case of beer out of harm’s way!
Unfortunately, even the rain was unable to extinguish the fire on time. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
While it may be commonplace to see motorists in Laos neglect the red light late at night, one car decided to try it in broad daylight. At the Talat Sao Mall intersection, one van blatantly ignored a clear red light signal and collided with a motorbike. The video clip shows a traffic police officer on his motorbike attempting to follow the van immediately after the collision.
After the clip had ended, the people in the pickup truck in the middle of the clip assisted the woman on the motorbike that had been in the accident. The woman suffered injuries but is in stable condition. It is not known whether the owner of the van has been apprehended.
BCEL Orders Employee Rumored to Have Been Infected With COVID-19 to Self-Quarantine
A few days ago, an internal BCEL document leaked to the public concerning a female employee who had taken temporary leave due to having symptoms similar to those of a person infected with COVID-19. The document further stated that the employee’s sister had recently come back from China two weeks earlier.
The bank has ordered the employee to stay home and remain in quarantine for a further 14 days despite having tested negative for COVID-19, in line with international health standards regarding prevention. Doctors have confirmed that it was a mere common cold, from which she has fully recovered.
Fuel Prices Drop Officially
For the first time in a long time, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) has issued a notice mandating the reduction of fuel prices nationwide.
However, many on social media were in haste to point out that many unscrupulous fuel station operators either ignored the ministerial notice or pretended not to have received it.
Have you ever seen a net idol from Bokeo? Ning Khamaeuy is one such star. With over 32,000 followers on Facebook, she’s what one would call a micro-influencer. Here’s a list of some of Laos’ top influencers on Facebook.
Weddings Must Go On
Lao-ITECC (Vientiane Capital), a popular venue where many weddings are organized, has taken preventive measures to defend against the spread of COVID-19. In response to a recommendation from health authorities to suspend or postpone large crowded gatherings, ITECC is staffing every wedding held at their venue with trained nurses from Settha Hospital who check attendants’ temperatures and sanitize their hands accordingly. Lao-ITECC states that people displaying COVID-19-like symptoms (high fever of over 38 degrees, shortness of breath, coughing) will be refused entry or picked up by an ambulance.
Food Delivery Bike with Government Plates
This picture of a man employing a blue-plated motorbike (reserved for government employees) in his work as a delivery driver for a food delivery app is sparking discussion. Critics assert that while state employees do have a right to find part-time work outside of their official hours, they should not use state property (the motorbike) for their personal endeavors.
It has not been confirmed whether the man in the photo is a public servant. It could be the case that he is a relative or friend.