Heavy rains and flooding following the passage of Tropical Storm Podul across central and southern Laos since Sunday, September 1, has caused at least one fatality in addition to transportation and business disruptions as of Thursday, September 5. Salavan province is reportedly the most affected by flooding, as well as Champasak, Sekong, Savvanakhet, Khammouane, and Attapeu provinces. Several roads and bridges are impassable, including the bridge linking Sekong and Attepeu, due to the flooding. More than 28,000 families have been affected according to local media outlets.
The Meteorology and Hydrology Department forecasts rain to continue in some parts of the country in the coming days. Consequently, transportation and business disruptions in the affected areas are expected to continue.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid areas directly hit by flooding, and adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities or their home governments. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded. Be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rainfall.
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