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Flash Flooding in Luang Prabang Kills Woman, Damages Crops

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Flash flooding in northern parts of the country including Luang Prabang province has taken one life, destroyed many hectares of rice and other crops and washed away houses and irrigation channels and livestock.

The woman who was killed was identified as Ms Thong of Houyno village, Phonxay district, the secretary of the Luang Prabang provincial disaster management and prevention committee, Ms Chanpheng Phetdara told Vientiane Times yesterday.

Officials also reported that more than 1,000 families in nine districts of Luang Prabang province were impacted by the recent flash flooding after heavy rain over the period from August 8-15.

More than 10 houses were damaged, a tractor and a bicycle were broken and 900 hectares of upland and wet season rice were damaged or destroyed.

Some 753 hectares of other crops also suffered varying extents of damage while seven buffaloes, 39 pigs and almost 300 poultry were reported as lost.

The flooding also saw damages sustained by irrigation channels, wood bridges and irrigation dams.

The worst impacted areas were the districts of Chomphet, Nan, Xiengngeun and Phonxay.

It is expected that the loss and damage figures will rise after all reports are compiled by local authorities, MsChanpheng said.

Other northern provinces such as Bokeo, Xayaboury, and Oudomxay were also affected by similar flooding but not all reports have been compiled as yet.

Some 139 families in the three districts of Houayxai, Pha-Oudom and Paktha were affected, the Bokeo provincial social welfare section deputy head, Mr. Phousy Lattanaphak reported.

More than 200 hectares of upland and wet season rice within the districts were damaged and almost 100 livestock and poultry deaths were reported.

Some district roads were also damaged, especially in Paktha and Pha-Oudom, which suffered from landslides and washouts.

At present, local authorities are continuing to collect information on the damage in order to seek assistance, Mr. Phousy said.

In Xayaboury province, four villages of Hongsa district were the worst affected. Those were Napoung, Khaenkham, Sibounheuang and Phonsoung, the provincial social welfare section head, Mr. Nouphone Xaypanyachit reported.

More than 70 families or 891 people who live along the mountains and rivers have been impacted by recent flash flooding, he said.

The heavy rains flooded 170 households, damaged 4.5 hectares of rice, killed 624 poultry and saw 15,000 fish escape from their fish ponds.

Roads and irrigation channels were also damaged but there are no estimates on the expected costs as yet.

The provincial authorities have already provided initial assistance to victims by handing over drinking water, rice and some necessary equipment, Mr. Nouphone said.

More than 2,000 families in 25 villages of Houn district, Oudomxay province were also impacted and over 2,000 hectares of rice, sweetcorn and some cash crops were lost.

Baeng district also suffered losses but has yet to report to provincial authorities.

Source: Vientiane Times