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MRC: Laos to See Heavy Rain, Flash Floods in June

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The Mekong River Commission says water levels across the lower Mekong basin have now returned to normal, while heavy rain is predicted for June.

According to water monitoring undertaken by the Mekong River Commission (MRC), early rainfall across the Mekong region in April has contributed to returning the water levels of the Mekong basin back normal levels, although still lower than water levels during the 2018 and 2019 dry seasons.

“The region has seen quite a good amount of rainfall since the third week of April even though its total accumulated amount is only at an average level,” said Dr. Lam Hung Son, the MRC Secretariat’s Head of Regional Flood and Drought Management Center.

The climate in the Mekong region is being affected by a transition between the El Nino and La Nina phases of the El Nino – Southern Oscillation (Enso), during which changes in sea temperatures and air pressure influence weather patterns and precipitation.

According to the MRC, moderate to heavy rainfalls are expected across the four lower Mekong countries from May to July this year. Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand are likely to receive more rain than Vietnam.

Maps Mekong levels rise
Drought forecast for the lower Mekong basin from May to July 2020 shows that the basin is getting wetter. Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand are likely to receive more rain than Viet Nam.

“We are expecting a wetter condition and more rain over the next three months. However, people should also be careful as downpours and flash floods could come any time, resulting in possible damages to properties, crops and even lives,” Dr Son said.

While May might be dry across the four countries, in June, Cambodia and Thailand are expected to receive more rainfall than Laos and Vietnam. In July, heavy rainfall is forecast for Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

Seven people have already died after flash floods swept through Kiawtaloun Village, in Luang Prabang on 24 April.

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