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Lao PDR/Cambodia: Floods - Jul 2018

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Heavy rainfall over a period of several days in Attapeu Province resulted in dangerously high river and dam levels. An incident at the Xepien-Xenamnoy Hydropower dam construction in Attapeu province resulted in flash flooding, with eight villages affected: Ban Mai; Ban HinLath; Ban ThaSengchan; Ban Thahintai; Ban Sanong; Ban Thae; Ban Phonsa-ath; and Ban Nongkhae. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 24 Jul 2018)

The collapse of the dam affected nearly 7,000 people and displacing more than 1,000 people. More than 100 houses were damaged, forcing people to seek shelter in local government buildings and schools. Red Cross teams in the Attepeu branch have distributed clothing, food and drinking water to households in the affected area. (IFRC/Lao Red Cross, 25 Jul 2018)

On 26 July, The IFRC released an appeal seeking a total of some 2.9 million Swiss francs, on a preliminary basis, to enable the [IFRC] to support the Lao Red Cross (LRC) to deliver assistance and support 7,500 people for 18 months. (IFRC, 26 Jul 2018)

In addition, Tropical Storm Son-Tinh affected several provinces, the most severe being Sanamxay District in the Attapeu Province. This is the largest flood the country has seen in the past 10 years. The UN activated five clusters: WASH, Health, Food Security and Nutrition, Shelter and Logistics. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 29 Jul 2018) The water level is receding slowly, but road access remains difficult. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 6 Aug 2018)

As of 28 July, 16,250 people have been affected by flooding in Attapeu Province following the impact of Tropical Storm Son Tinh that caused the Xepien-Xenamnoyu hydroelectric dam in Sanamxay District to break. 19 people are known to have died and more than 7,300 people have been displaced and are living in temporary shelters. Roads, bridges, schools and agricultural land has been damaged or destroyed, and most of the affected area remains cut off except by boat. There is an urgent need for food, sanitation and hygiene support, housing repair kits and psychosocial support.

Flood waters caused by the break of Xepien-Xenamnoyu dam in southern Lao PDR are flowing downstream, resulting in the evacuation of more than 5,600 people in Stung Treng Province, northern Cambodia. As of 31 July, no people have been reported dead or missing. The water level at Stung Treng is at 10.7m and forecast to reach flood level within five days. Local authorities are distributing relief items and NGOs have deployed staff to assist in monitoring the situation. (OCHA, 31 Jul 2018)

Tropical Storm Son-Tinh caused heavy rains in 13 provinces and unprecedented flash floods in Sanamxay District in Attapeu Province. As of 6 August, the water level is receding slowly, but access to the affected area remains challenging due to floods and mud. Some areas are accessible only by helicopter. Based on the Government’s information, 13 villages have been affected, five are considered severely affected. The Government has declared the affected area as a National Disaster Zone. Current identified needs are water, health, food, shelter and psychosocial support. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 6 Aug 2018)

On 7 August, the Humanitarian Country Team launched a Disaster Response Plan to provide life-saving assistance to 13,100 people affected by the flash floods and re-establish their basic livelihoods. The Plan asks for US$5.6 million in humanitarian relief and recovery support across eight clusters: Education, Food Security and Nutrition, Health, Protection, including Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence, Shelter, including camp management, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Early Recovery and Coordination. (UNCT Laos/OCHA, 9 Aug 2018)

As of 13 August, 45 districts in Cambodia have been affected by flooding, after flood waters flowed south from Lao PDR. Almost 70,500 families have been affected, including 7,150 families who have been evacuated from their homes. In addition, 21,400 schools and 4,100 health facilities have been impacted by the floods. Local government and NGOs are providing people with food, NFIs, health support and cash assistance. (OCHA, 14 Aug 2018)

Tropical Cyclone Bebinca led to flooding in northern Laos, with impacts also felt in the south of the country. Heavy and consistent rain since 13 August has led to rising river levels in Attapeu province, where the hydro-electric dam collapsed less than a month ago. This is causing flooding and restricting access to Sanamxay, hampering the delivery of aid to areas affected by the dam collapse. Authorities are closely monitoring the level of the Mekong River and its tributaries. (OCHA, 20 Aug 2018)

UNICEF and partners, with support from USAID, are installing water points (drilling boreholes with hand motorized pump) and toilets in the camps, as well as distributing 200,000 water purification tablets.(UNICEF 12 Sep 2018)