Thursday, September 19, 2019

Mekong bursts its banks, flows into Pakxe

Aug 04. 2018
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By Vientiane Times
Asia News Network

2,495 Viewed

The water in the Mekong River is currently above the danger level in Champassak province and has flooded some parts of Pakxe, while in Khammuan province the river has almost reached the danger mark.

But in Khammuan it is the Xebangfai River that has overflowed and flooded many areas, having risen above the danger level by almost 3 metres.

According to a recent report from Champassak province, 5,522 houses in 218 villages are flooded and 4,621 families are affected. 

Meanwhile, over 6,345 hectares of rice fields, over 405 hectares of farmland and almost one hectare of fishponds have been damaged.

In the city of Pakxe, 24 villages have reported flooding, with 1,026 families of 4,555 people in 685 houses affected. A total of 173 families have moved to temporary accommodation in schools, temples, and relatives’ houses. 

The authorities are now gathering information on the extent of the damage.

A report issued on August 2 in Khammuan province noted that 378 villages in 10 districts had been flooded and 30,229 families were affected. Authorities have helped to move hundreds of villagers to higher ground. 

The swollen Xebangfai and other rivers have flooded 129 irrigation systems, over 35 hectares of rice fields, 604 hectares of farmland and 205 fishponds, while 34 buffaloes, 113 cattle, 79 goats, 83 pigs and 2,635 poultry have been lost.

The floodwater has also entered 17 temples, 101 schools, 13 dispensaries, 1,536 bore holes, and 2,221 toilets.  

In Thakhaek district yesterday the level of the Mekong was measured at 13.44 metres, close to the danger level of 14 metres.

Meanwhile, the Xebangfai River rose to 17.37 metres in Mahaxay district, well above the danger level of 15 metres.

But the suffering in these two provinces cannot compare to the disaster playing out in Attapeu, after an auxiliary dam collapsed at the under-construction Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant in Sanamxay district on July 23.

Government officials, together with Lao and foreign partners and rescue teams from abroad are desperately searching for the 108 people still unaccounted for.

According to a report from the province on August 2, a total of 23 people were reported to have died and there are grave fears for the safety of those who are missing.

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