Although the capital city of Vientiane is virtually out of danger because the water level in the Mekong river is receeding and is expected to be below the flood-alert level in the next couple of days, more severe flooding is expected in many central and southern provinces where thousands of hectares of rice fields are under water, and thousands of families have been affected.
In central Khammouane province alone, floods have destroyed more than 69,000 hectares of farmlands; over 11,300 hectares of which are rice paddies already planted with seedlings, or about 20% of the 56,000 hectares of rice fields that have been planted with seedlings across the province. Over 7,000 households are suffering from flood impacts.
In Borikhamsay province, more than 13,000 hectares of rice paddies - out of the total 25,000 hectares planted - have been destroyed. The damages there, as well as in Vientiane province and the capital city, are assessed to be almost 100 billion kips - about the total damages in Luang Prabang province alone.
The widespread flooding and the gravity of its impacts on agricultural lands and families alike prompted the cash-strapped Lao government to appeal for help. Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavath Lengsavath called on the private sector, both domestic and foreign businesses, to help provide urgent reliefs to flood victims, especially medicines.
Flooding across Savannakhet has also affected mining in the province, causing Oxiana Resources to lower this year's expectations of gold and copper outputs from its Sepone mines, from 120,000 ounces to 85,000 - 95,000 oz. for gold, and from 65,000 tons to no more than 60,000 tons for copper.
Listen to Songrit Pongern's report for further details in Lao.