VIENTIANE, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A weather alert has been issued for areas in many of the northern and central parts of Laos from Tuesday to Friday as tropical storm Son-tinh makes its way toward Laos via Vietnam.
Heading westward at a speed of 35 km per hour, the storm is likely to bring heavy rains and strong winds, forecasters said.
Areas at high risk for damage as a result of heavy rainfalls include locations across the central and northern provinces of Laos, local daily Vientiane Times on Thursday said, quoting a weather alert issued by the country's Meteorology and Hydrology Department.
The storm is likely to be de-intensify sufficiently to be downgraded to a tropical depression as it heads inland over northern Laos' Oudomxay and Luang Namtha provinces.
It is expected to bring widespread moderate to heavy rainfall and strong winds in central and northern regions of Laos.
The Meteorology and Hydrology Department urged the public to take care and be on alert to the possibility of thunderstorms and tropical storms along with flash floods caused by heavy rains, landslides, falling trees and damage to houses and structures from strong winds.
The past week has seen low-lying areas in the regions experiencing flash floods following heavy rainfall events. Almost 100 houses and a hospital in 12 villages of Oudomxay province in the north were flooded.
Five landslides were reported and four bridges and agricultural installations were damaged after torrential rains overnight on Sunday and Monday.
Heavy downpours also caused flash flooding to inundate dwellings and breach the roadway at locations on major routes in central Lao provinces of Khammuan and Savannakhet.
Fortunately, there were no reports of deaths from any flood related incidents to date, the daily reported on Thursday.