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Death Toll Tops 20 in Laos' Floods; More Rain to Come

Flooding across Laos so far this summer has claimed more than 20 lives with more downpours on the way for the rain-weary country.

An already wet summer worsened by torrential rain from several tropical systems has led to flooding in many provinces across northern and central Laos.

"An estimated 116,518 people have been affected by the flooding with over 20 people killed," a report issued by ReliefWeb on Monday, Aug. 26, stated.

Sixteen of those deaths occurred in the Beng district of Oudumxay province on Aug. 20.

"The majority of this summer's rain came from two tropical storms [Jebi and Mangkhut] in quick succession," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Eric Wanenchak.

Rain from both Jebi and Mangkhut soaked Laos in less than a week's time. About a week later, downpours from what was once-Super Typhoon Utor arrived.

Before this tropical inundation, Wanenchak reports that the ground was already saturated with rainfall running near to above normal.

"You can even indirectly connect [the tropical systems] Cimaron and Soulik to keeping moisture locked in place across Laos in July and preventing occasional dry spells from developing," Wanenchak continued.

Laos' capital of Vientiane recorded 470 mm (18.5 inches) of rain from July 15 to Aug. 27, which is 110 percent of its normal rainfall.

"However, more than half of that rain (294 mm/11.6 inches) fell in just 2.5 weeks during the first half of August when Jebi and Mangkhut were moving through the region," according to Wanenchak.

While Tropical Storm Kong-rey poses no threat, a much-needed stretch of dry weather is not in store for Laos.

Daily rounds of downpours will persist across the nation's mountainous northern and central areas through at least the weekend. The afternoon and evening hours will be the most active times of the day.

The downpours threaten to cause more flooding problems and mudslides.

More than 14,210 hectares (35,114 acres) of rice across Laos have been damaged from recent floods, as well as 13 schools, according to the same ReliefWeb report. The flooding has also killed thousands of livestock.

The ReliefWeb report, which gives information as of Aug. 23, is produced by the Office of the U.N. Resident Coordinator, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Office of the Government of Lao People's Democratic Republic.