Heavy rainfall eases drought effects in Mekong Delta

Recorded water levels in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB) saw significant increases during the last seven days as a result of heavy rainfall and sudden water releases from dams, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on July 29.

But it said river levels across all monitoring stations remain lower than their alarm or danger points with the region experiencing the third year of a drought.

Levels are expected to fall over the next few days, partly due to reduced outflows from construction work at China’s Jinghong Dam.

River levels were above their long-term averages, mostly at the upper stations, according to MRC data. The region has received about 40 percent higher than average rainfall in July compared to the same period between 2015 and 2020, it added.

“Due to heavy rainfall, dams in the Lower Mekong including those on the tributary released large amounts of water during July 24–25, causing water levels to surge quickly,” said Lam Hung Son, head of the MRC Secretariat’s Regional Flood and Drought Management Centre.

He added that it was not immediately clear whether these surges had caused any damage.

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UCA News reporter, Vientiane