Situation Update: No. 5 – Tropical Storm Podul and Tropical Depression Kajiki, Lao PDR - Friday, 13 September 2019, 20:00 hrs (UTC+7)



a. On 29 August (Thursday) and 02 September (Monday) 2019, the Lao PDR Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 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: Champasak, Saravan, Sekong, Savannakhet, Attapeu, and Khammouan (in descending order of most affected province).

b. As many as 89 bridges, 613 schools, 46 health centres and hospitals, 298 km of roads, 274,719 hectares of farmland, 574,742 livestock, and 36 reservoirs were affected by the floods. Total damage is estimated to cost US$10 million (88 billion LA kip). Most of the schools are still closed and authorities are considering temporary classrooms to minimise disruption to students.

c. According to the Vientiane Times, the Government has approved the deployment of US$569,878 (5 billion LA kip) by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) for emergency aid. Mr. Vilayphong Sisomvang, Acting Director-General, Social Welfare Department (SWD), MLSW, told the Vientiane Times that they have received more than US$569,878 (5 billion LA kip) from the business sector since mobilising funds on 06 September (Friday) 2019.

d. From the preliminary assessment by UNITAR-UNOSAT of more recent Sentinel-1 imagery acquired on 10 September (Tuesday) 2019, the flood waters appear to have receded significantly in Saravan, Attapeu, and the northern areas of Champasak (Pakse), with only some downstream areas in Saravan (Sedone River) and Attapeu still flooded. In Champasak, where the Mekong River cuts through Pakse in the north and through the spine of the province, there appears to still be some flood waters in the central and southern parts of the valley.

e. The AHA Centre mobilised its In-Country Liaison Team (ICLT), which facilitated the handover ceremony of the following DELSA relief items in Vientiane on 12 September (Thursday) 2019, attended by the AHA Centre Executive Director,
Acting Director-General, SWD, MLSW of Lao PDR, and Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States based in Vientiane (Press Release): 330 Family Kits, 2,596 Hygiene Kits, 1,144 Kitchen Sets, 1,400 Mosquito Nets, and 1,400 Jerry Cans (10 litres).

f. The AHA Centre’s Information Management specialist and ICLT, together with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Education, and the Lao PDR Red Cross, attended the National Joint Needs Assessment Planning Meeting led by Acting Director-General of Social Welfare Department (SWD) in Vientiane today (13 September 2019). The AHA Centre is working collaboratively with in-country ASEAN ERAT Lao PDR in designing the assessment tools and methodology referencing ASEAN-ERAT’s Initial Need Assessment Checklist (INAC). The tools will later be translated to Lao characters and a training will be held for local staffs who will collect the data for conducting the upcoming joint needs assessment led by the Government of Lao PDR.

g. Data and assessment information gathered will feed back into the AHA Centre Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for further analysis – specifically on gap analysis, GIS and mapping. The AHA Centre will release the next situation update when the assessment is completed.

h. As of the release of today’s (13 September 2019) report, the figures for disaster impacts remain the same as yesterday (12 September 2019).