VIENTIANE, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Rebuilding the livelihoods of flood-affected villagers, particularly evacuated families, should be a top priority, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told central Lao provinces' authorities, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.
Thongloun and other senior government officials visited flooded areas of the two provinces in central Laos, Khammuan and Savannakhet, where hundreds of people have been moved to higher land to escape rising water levels.
In Khammuan, some 250 km southeast of Lao capital Vientiane, the prime minister went to see a makeshift shelter where several hundred displaced villagers from 36 families stayed.
As of August 2, some 378 villages in 10 districts of Khammuan province had been flooded to some extent, with many houses submerged and over 35,000 hectares of paddy fields inundated, according to the province's latest report.
Flooding has also destroyed fishponds and damaged irrigation systems, schools, electricity transmission lines, healthcare facilities and other infrastructure.
In Savannakhet province, some 280 km southeast of Vientiane, the prime minister visited affected areas in Xaybouly district where he was briefed by local authorities on the current flood situation before advising them on how to cope with the difficult conditions they were faced with.
According to an official report, almost 21,000 people in 4,257 families from 86 villages in Savannakhet province's five districts have been affected by flooding.