Vietnam and Laos – Deadly Floods After Tropical Depression Kajiki, Mekong River Rises

Tropical Depression Kajiki, which closely followed Tropical Cyclone Podul, has brought heavy rain to parts of Vietnam and Laos, causing further flooding and landslides. Authorities report at least 2 people have died and 2 are missing in Laos, while 5 fatalities were reported in Vietnam with 3 people still missing.

Heavy rain in catchment areas has also increased levels of the Mekong River, which has reached flood stage in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

Mekong river is close to the danger mark Cambodia. Photo: Cambodia MOWR


Lao News Agency, Khaosan Pathet Lao (KPL), reported on 05 September that 2 people had died and 2 were missing after floods in central and southern parts of the country.

Heavy rain brought about by the consecutive storms Podul and Kajiki led to severe flooding in Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan, Xekong, Attapeu and Champassak provinces.

KPL said that flooding has affected more than 54,200 families in 788 villages of 37 districts in the central and southern provinces. Over 3,400 families have been evacuated.


In Vietnam, local media said that “Over the past few days, torrential rains brought by a tropical depression were recorded from Nghệ An to Thừa Thiên-Huế Province. In many areas, total rainfall rose to more than 1,000mm, causing widespread flooding in low areas, leading to the loss of human lives and damage to property.”

Vietnam’s National Committee for Disaster Prevention reported that, as of 05 September, floods and landslides had claimed 3 lives in central Ha Tinh province, one in central Quang Binh province and one in northern Lao Cai province. Two people are missing in Lao Cai province and one in Quang Binh province.

Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed in the districts of Minh Hoa, Tuyen Hoa and Le Thuy in Quang Binh province. Around 700 people were displaced by flooding from the overflowing Gianh river in Tuyen Hoa district.

Roads across the province have been submerged causing major transport problems. Flooding also caused severe losses or damage for farmers.

Disaster authorities also reported that over 100 homes in in Van Ho and Phu districts, Son La Province, were damaged by heavy rains on 02 September.


Stormy weather brought by Tropical Depression Kajiki caused wind damage and flooding in Preah Vihear province in Cambodia. Local media report that one person died after being swept away by fast-flowing floods in Choam Khsan district. Flooding also damaged rice crops and roads in the district.

Heavy rain has also caused the Mekong River to rise in Cambodia. On 03 September around 40 households were evacuated after the Mekong river broke its banks in Tboung Khmum province.

Local media report that more than 700 families in Stung Treng province have been evacuated from floods caused by the overflowing Mekong river. As of 06 September the river stood at exactly flood level of 12 metres. Alarm level here is 10.7 metres.

Parts of Cambodia were affected by flooding in mid-August which left 4 people dead and 962 families displaced in Preah Sihanouk, Mondulkiri, Kampot, Koh Kong and Ratanakiri provinces.

Mekong River Floods

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) reported on 05 September that the river level in Thailand’s Khong Chiam district, Ubon Ratchathani Province, reached flood level on 04 September when the river stood at 15.29 metres. Over the next three days it is expected to increase, rising to 16.23 metres by 08 September. Flood level here is 14.5 metres.

MRC added that in Pakse, Laos, the water level has exceeded flood level of 12 metres, reaching 13.06 metres on 04 September. It is expected to rise slowly from 13.75m today to about 14m over the next five days.

Dr. Sothea Khem, River Flood Forecasting Specialist at the MRC Secretariat said, “Heavy rainfall, brought by the Tropical Cyclone PODUL during August 31 to September 3, over the middle part of the lower Mekong basin from Mukdahan of Thailand to Pakse of Laos has caused a sudden water increase in the Mekong River. Most rivers and other water bodies in the areas are now flooded.”

He added that with continued rainfall over the next few days, the river at Stung Treng and Koh Khel in Cambodia will reach flood level.

In Koh Khel, the water level will slowly increase to about 8m over the next five days, slightly exceeding flood level of 7.90m on by around 10 September.

Cambodia’s Kratie and Kompong Cham stations are expected to reach alarm levels (lower than flood level) over the next few days, MRC said.

Mekong river levels September 2019. Image / data: Mekong River Commission (MRC)