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Flooding forces suspension of Xong River activities

Activities on the Nam Xong River in the famous tourism town of Vangvieng have been suspended after river levels rose rapidly following recent rain, according to local tourism authorities.

Head of the Vangvieng district Information, Culture and Tourism Office, Mr Bounpanh Phommavong, told Vientiane Times yesterday that the level of water has approached the risk level and is lapping at the banks of the Nam Xong River, and some rice fields and islands are experiencing flash flooding.

“We have informed tourists who visit our district to postpone activities on the river such as kayaking, tubing and jumping. This is to ensure the safety of visitors because the water level is very high and the river is fast flowing and dangerous,” he said.

“Many involved sectors are working closely together to monitor the water level and to collect information of any damages.”

However, he said the authorities are yet to receive any reports of lost animals or flooding of houses from local people in the district.

He explained that the authorities issued a warning to local people to take all necessary precautions before Tropical Storm Jebi moved over northern parts of the country last weekend.

“Now, the tourists are still increasingly visiting our district, which we can see through the number of check-ins at hotels and guesthouses. However, we still have to collect information to count the number of tourists from the last month and report to the provincial office,” he said.

“During this time, Kaeng Nhui waterfall is one of the most famous sites and has attracted many international and domestic tourists.”

Hea d of the Weather Forecasting and Aeronautical Meteorology Division, Mr Vandy Duangmala, said yesterday Tropical Storm Jebi took a more northerly path than expected, passing over the very north of the country and causing only light to moderate rainfall in parts.

Around 80mm of rain was recorded in Vientiane province last Saturday, which was the highest quantity of rainfall anywhere throughout the country, but it was only a short downpour, he explained .

He said the division also received the report regarding the Nam Xong river levels, which topped 4.28 metres on Sunday before subsiding to 3.06 metres yesterday.

However, the division still d idn't receive any reports of damages that might have been caused by the tropical storm, such as landslides and flash flooding in other provinces, he added.

“Now there is a depression in the South China Sea which may become another tropical storm and will be moving, which we will closely follow. We will inform the public later after we receive all relevant information.”

Source: Vientiane Times

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