Northern regions of Laos are being warned to prepare for heavy rain and wind with weather forecasters predicting that Tropical Storm Bebinca will move across parts of Vietnam and northern Laos from August 16-18.
Areas at high risk of damage include the provinces of Phongsaly, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Oudomxay, Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Luang Prabang and Xayaboury.
The storm could bring heavy downpours and strong winds with flash floods possible in at-risk areas, so people should prepare for severe conditions, according to an alert issued by the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.
While Bebinca is moving across parts of the country from August 14-15, heavy rain and strong winds are expected in the central and southern regions, including the capital and the provinces of Vientiane, Xaysomboun, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Champassak, Saravan, Xekong and Attapeu.
Officials in at-risk areas are on the alert and have been monitoring water levels in the Mekong and Xebangfay rivers in preparation for the storm.
In the first seven months of this year, Laos has been hit by heavy rainfall with Tropical Storm Son-tinh the most recent to lash many regions of the nation.
Downpours lasting several hours caused floodwaters to inundate dwellings, farmland and other property, while key roads and bridges were damaged in many provinces including Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Champassak and Attapeu, according to authorities.
Last year, Laos was hit by tropical storms Talas and Sonca, which caused flooding in many provinces and resulted in extensive damage to property and infrastructure.