Widespread Floods Hit North, Central, and Southern Laos

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Laos is battling major floods in several parts of the country.
Floodwaters reach rooftops in Thapangthong District, Savannakhet Province.

Residents across Laos are battling severe floods as days of heavy rains are compounded by tropical storm Mulan, which has been pummeling the northern parts of the country.

In the north, Houaphan and Luang Prabang provinces have reported heavy flooding, particularly in Samneua and Phonxay districts.

Houses swept away by floods and landslides in Xayaboury Province yesterday.
The remains of houses swept away by floodwaters in Xayaboury Province yesterday.

Likewise, flooding was declared a provincial emergency in eleven districts of Xayaboury Province today. The province has mobilized 600 military personnel to monitor the flooding and assist in relief efforts, while residents have been told to move to higher ground.

Floodwaters from nearby rivers have inundated several of Xayaboury’s main districts, including Xienghone, Hongsa, and Khop.

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On Tuesday, rising waters washed away homes and livestock in the central areas of the country, including parts of Savannakhet Province. Villagers in Thapangthong District, who were unprepared for the deluge, were especially affected by the waters.

On the same day, districts in Salavanh and Champasack provinces saw flooding and landslides as well.

An excavator desperately tries to clear a path along a major road hit by a landslide in Kasi District, Vientiane Province.
An excavator desperately tries to clear a path along a major road hit by a landslide in Kasi District, Vientiane Province.

The coming days will likely bring more disastrous flooding, as authorities in Sekong province advise residents to prepare for changes in water levels in the Xe Khong River due to the release of a dam in Vietnam.

In Vientiane Capital, where recent floods made some roads impassable, residents have witnessed flooding around major districts, particularly in Sikhottabong District, where the Mayor has advised authorities to attempt to unclog drains and assist the water in escaping.

Flash floods in Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital
Flash floods in Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital.

While monsoon season in Laos does typically run from May to October, extreme flooding events in recent years have been linked to climate change.