VIENTIANE, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Several provinces in Laos are suffering in the wake of prolonged downpours, with many houses, smallholdings and farms partially submerged under floodwater.
Sekong province, some 530 km southeast of Lao capital Vientiane, in particular has been affected and the level of the Nam Sekong river has risen to 12 meters, just below the danger level of 13 meters, local daily Vientiane Times quoted a provincial official, Bounthong Sidonkhong, as saying.
Torrential rain has also affected roads and bridges. Some bridges are temporarily impassable, including the bridge linking Sekong and Attapeu provinces, because it is under water.
Houses and farms are also suffering various degrees of damage but the extent of losses is not yet known, Bounthong said.
Elsewhere, many villages in Salavan province, some 670 km southeast of the Lao capital Vientiane, are also feeling the effects of heavy rainfall. Provincial authorities are warning local residents to move their belongings and pets to safety and out of reach of further floods.
In Khammuan province, some 250 km southeast of the Lao capital Vientiane, about 87 villages in five districts along the Xebangfay River have been affected by floods and over 5,000 hectares of rice crops are under water, according to the provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department.
In Savannakhet province, some 410 km east of the Lao capital Vientiane, flooding has occurred in at least 240 villages in 10 districts. Some 28,273 families have been affected and 36,188 hectares of rice crops are under water.
Floods have also blocked or damaged roads, bridges and irrigation channels. Local authorities are assessing the damage and surveying flood-affected areas, according to the Savannakhet provincial Labor and Social Welfare Department.
Tourist attractions in several provinces have closed temporarily because access is too difficult and unsafe, with roads extremely muddy and impassable in some places.