Situation Update: No. 1 – Tropical Storm Podul and Tropical Depression Kajiki, Lao PDR - Monday, 09 September 2019, 20:30 hrs (UTC+7)

1. HIGHLIGHTS

a. On 29 August (Thursday) and 02 September (Monday) 2019, the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), Ministry of Natural Resources, Lao PDR reported potential affected areas in the central and southern part of Lao PDR due to the existence of a Low Pressure Area (LPA), Tropical Storm PODUL, and Tropical Depression KAJIKI. Subsequently, flooding was reported in six (6) provinces: Khammouan, Savannakhet, Champasak, Saravan, Sekong, and Attapeu .

b. According to the update released by Lao PDR’s National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO) on 05 September (Thursday) 2019 at 09:00 (UTC +7), the Provincial Disaster Prevention and Control Committee called for an emergency meeting and planning for response. On 07 September (Saturday) 2019, the Prime Minister of Lao PDR, Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith, called for an emergency meeting and gave orders to the relevant agencies to quickly assist the affected areas.

c. Working with the Local Disaster Management and Control Committees in the provincial and district levels, the Government has already deployed emergency response teams from the military, police, and health sectors, equipped with trucks, boats, vehicles, helicopters, tools, and other equipment to evacuate affected people and distribute the following relief: 35 rescue boats, 2,200 packs of drinking water, and 100 family tents .

d. National Government leaders of Lao PDR visited the affected areas to assess the status of the affected population and to lead the ongoing emergency response. The officials also provided consolation to the victims and support to the responders.

e. Based on provincial impact data provided by NDMO Lao PDR, Champasak and Sekong are responsible for 61% of the total affected persons . According to the Pacific Disaster Center’s (PDC) All Hazards Impact Model processed on 08 September (Sunday) 2019, the estimated capital exposure is US$753.4 million .

f. From the preliminary assessment by UNITAR-UNOSAT, within the analysed extent of about 60,000 km2 in Southern Lao PDR, a total of about 1,000 km2 of land appears to be flooded as of 06 September (Friday) 2019. However, this analysis has not been validated yet in the field, and the AHA Centre will closely monitor and report should there be any updated information. The existing data seems to suggest a gap in ground assessment and validation and a lack of evacuation in the more mountainous Attapeu and Sekong.

g. Continued rainfall is expected in all 6 affected provinces over the course of the week. According to the Mekong River Commission (MRC), two hydrological stations in Khong Chiam and Pakse (just north of Champasek) have forecast that the water levels will steadily fall over the course of the week, with the downstream Pakse station forecast to remain above alarm levels for the rest of the week.

h. NDMO Lao PDR has identified the following needs:

● Food: rice, canned fish, drinking water, instant noodles
● Rescue boats and life jackets
● Non food items: family kits, personal hygiene kits, kitchen kits, sleeping kits
● Water treatment equipment
● Cash support

i. The AHA Centre has mobilised its In-Country Liaison Team (ICLT) to establish direct coordination lines with NDMO Lao PDR on the ground, and to coordinate the delivery and handover of DELSA regional stockpile in Subang, Malaysia to Pakse International Airport in Lao PDRi, as requested by NDMO Lao PDR.