Unfortunately, natural disasters and unforeseen events are a part of life. Before you fly to Laos, it would be useful to learn the natural disaster vocabulary in Lao. If the worst happens on your trip, these phrases could be life-saving. And if you need to know how to say help, the most direct Lao translation for this is 'suanyheu' or ຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອ . Ready to expand your knowledge on this topic more? Let's get started!
|Tsunami||su na mi||ຊູນາມິ|
|Tornado||phanyu tho na od||ພະຍຸທໍນາໂດ|
|Cyclone||phaiu sai okhln||ພາຍຸໄຊໂຄລນ|
|Hurricane||hoe ri khen||ເຮີຣິເຄນ|
Compared to countries like India and China, the weather system in the Lao People's Democratic Republic is quite simple. The country is landlocked and has clearly defined wet and dry seasons.
If you're thinking of visiting Laos, the best time to visit is between November and March because it's cooler and drier. Typically speaking, it is good to avoid the rainy season between May and October. However, one bonus is the air quality is much better because the rain pulls all the PM2.5 out of the air.
The rainfall annually in Laos is between 47 and 87 inches on the plains and can get up to 118 in the mountains.
Undoubtedly the biggest danger facing Laos is flooding. A prime example of this is in 2018 when a dam collapse in south-east Laos(bordering Cambodia and Vietnam) caused by excess rain killed at least 100 people.
(In recent years, Lao has been striving to dominate hydroelectric power in the region. It's easy to see why when you consider the unbelievable volume of water that flows through Laos, the main body of water being the Mekong River. In 2018 the last time data was released, 54 hydroelectric power plants were under construction. However, that power is not all being used by the Lao people. Already Lao sells 66% of its power to foreign countries.
The dam was part of a collaboration between Laos, Thailand, and South Korea. Officials got to stranded people by boat, and the government provided essential items like clothing, food, water, and medicine.
Eventually, the South Korean president sent a relief team to the country. Many other countries also offered aid. Singapore $500,000, Vietnam $300,000, Malaysia $100,000, Cambodia $100,000, China $1million. All that money undoubtedly went a long way to save lives.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is drought. In 2019 water levels on the Mekong River dropped to their lowest levels in 100 years. The cause was that the wet season was two months late in arriving.
The worst affected are rice farmers who cannot plant their crops in dry conditions as well as fish stocks in the diminished Mekong River.
The Mekong river itself has fascinating origins. It starts in the Tibetan highlands and flows through neighboring countries China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is estimated that 60 million rely on it to make a living.
The aforementioned Dams, like the one that failed in 2018, are subject to much controversy. The problem is that dams collect sediment and bar fish from migrating. According to experts, China is the worst offender. It blocks the flow in its part of the river.
Laos is a very safe place to visit in terms of natural disasters. Unlike nearby Thailand, there is no coastline, so you don't have to worry about tsunamis. Just how dangerous tsunamis are was horrifically demonstrated in 2004 when the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 230,000 people.
It is also sheltered from Cyclones, unlike nearby Vietnam. In 2013 alone, Vietnam experienced nine cyclones that made landfall! There are no blizzards in the country; however, it can occasionally drop to around 10 degrees in extremely mountainous areas. With no snow, there are also no avalanches, although landslides cause big problems in the rainy season in remote areas.
Although there are earthquakes in Laos, it does not lie on one of the major fault lines, so earthquakes aren't of sufficient magnitude to do any real damage.
The biggest problem in Laos are floods, droughts, and fires, and with climate change exacerbating these problems, Laos, like many other countries in the world, will have to find a way to deal with this.
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