Widespread flooding leaves 46 dead, 97 missing in Laos: report

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VIENTIANE, Aug 22, 2018 (BSS/Xinhua) – Flooding caused by recent storms in
Laos has killed at least 46 people while 97 others are missing and four
people were injured, according to the latest report from the National
Disaster Prevention and Control Committee.

Some 82,460 families of 236,188 people in 79 districts of 14 provinces,
out of the country’s 18 provinces, were affected by floods after tropical
storms Son-Tinh and Bebinca brought torrential rain from the middle of July
to the middle of August, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

As many as 11,383 people have been displaced and now live in temporary
shelters. About 120 schools have been damaged, posing a challenge for a
timely start to the new school year which begins on Sept. 1.

Some 62,980 hectares of rice fields and 41,879 hectares of other crops
have been flooded, 208 irrigation systems have been damaged, and thousands of
livestock and poultry have died.

As many as 138 roads and 26 bridges have been damaged with losses
estimated at more than 15.8 billion kip (about 1.9 million U.S. dollars). The
latest count showed that 27 gravity-fed water systems, 26 dispensaries, 36
temples, 64 electricity poles and other structures have also been damaged.

Meanwhile, an assessment of losses and damage is still underway in
Sanamxay district, Attapeu province, where a dam collapsed, causing the
biggest disaster in decades. Lao officials said six out of the 13 affected
villages were completely wiped out by the flood, which killed dozens of
people and left many others missing.

The committee said there was an urgent need for tents, toilets,
electricity, clean water, cleaning equipment, dried food, rice, and
medicines.

Household equipment, basic essentials for women, construction equipment to
repair damaged houses, and nutritious food for children under five is also
needed.

Thanks to the ongoing support and assistance from various sectors,
friendly countries and international organizations, a considerable quantity
of relief supplies have been distributed to those in need.

From July 24 to Aug. 17, more than 18 billion kip (about 2.1 million U.S.
dollars), over 32 million Thai baht (about 1 million U.S. dollars) and more
than 12.2 million U.S. dollars were donated, according to the committee.

Authorities in charge said they have encountered difficulties in
transporting relief supplies from warehouses in Vientiane, Attapeu and
Champassak to temporary shelter centers amid continuous heavy rainfall that
cut off roads, damaged bridges and covered Sanamxay district in deep mud.

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