Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Floods – Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation MDRLA007

  1. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The lower Mekong region (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Thailand and Vietnam) has been experiencing prolonged heavy rain since 6 October 2020. This is due to the combination of numerous weather systems – the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone combining with cold air as well as tropical storms Linfa and Nangka as well as tropical depression INVEST 94W. The three wind systems made landfall in Vietnam but brought along heavy rain to the rest of the lower Mekong region. Tropical storm Linfa made landfall on 11 October 2020, tropical storm Nangka made landfall on 14 October 2020 whilst tropical depression INVEST 94W made landfall on 16 October 2020.

The rainfall brought by the wind systems exacerbated the flooding in Lao PDR and resulted in widespread flooding and landslides in southern Lao PDR. As of 20 October 2020, nine districts in three provinces were affected by the floods. The affected provinces are Salawan, Savannakhet and Sekong.

As of 20 October 2020, another tropical storm, tropical storm Saudel, is traversing through Philippines and the East Sea following similar path as the previous three weather systems. This tropical storm may cause more rainfall in Lao PDR as well and will possibly exacerbate the floods in the area. The tropical storm is forecasted to make landfall in Viet Nam between 24 to 26 October 2020.

As of 20 October, based on initial assessment (conducted by National Disaster Management Office with participation of Lao Red Cross), it was highlighted that 163 villages in the three provinces, with an estimated 10,637 households (69,764 people) were affected. Savannakhet is the worst affected province. There are 135 villages with more than 10,000 households affected in the province. In Sekong province, almost 2,000 people are affected. Salawan province reported less than 300 people affected but had a total of 2 deaths reported in Salawan province.

 

Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies