Heavy rains and flooding following the passage of Tropical Storm Podul and Kajiki have left 14 people dead and one person missing as of Thursday, September 12. The affected provinces include Saravan, Savannakhet, Champasak, Xekong, Khammuane, and Attapeu. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MOLSW), around 175,000 households were affected with 14,000 evacuated. About 194 schools in Saravan province, and 172 schools in Savannakhet province remain closed as of Thursday.
Floods and landslides have severely damaged infrastructure, including bridges and roads. Severe transportation and communications disruptions are to be expected in the affected areas over the coming days.
Tropical cyclones and typhoons are common in the western Pacific and the South China Sea from June through November.
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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