Xayaboury Residents Warned as Dam Raises Alert to Level 2

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Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project in Xayaboury Province, Laos
Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project in Xayaboury Province, Laos.

Authorities in Xayaboury Province have warned residents in communities near the Mekong River to be prepared for flooding as the Xayaboury Dam raises its emergency alert to Level 2.

The Xayaboury Provincial Administration Office issued a notice on Saturday informing residents living both upstream and downstream of the hydropower installation to prepare for flooding and move their belongings and livestock to higher ground.

The warning was issued following a notice issued by the Xayburi Power Company that it may be required to release water from the dam.

According to the alert, flooding may occur after hydropower dams along the Nam Ou River – a tributary of the Mekong – begin discharging more water in response to recent heavy rainfall across much of Laos, particularly in the north.

The release by the Nam Ou dams has affected the dam in Xayaboury by increasing water volume, forcing the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project to raise its emergency alert to Level 2.

While the country suffers through floods in the monsoon season, the Xayaburi Power Company was forced to dispel rumors that it had caused low water levels in the Mekong River in early 2020 amid accusations from international organizations.