Neighbors on Alert as China Releases Deluge of Water from Mekong Dam

Radio Free Asia
9 September 2014

Huge volumes of water being discharged from a hydropower dam on the Mekong River in southern China’s Yunnan province have placed the country’s downstream neighbors on high alert amid concerns over possible flash floods.

Officials in Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia are closely monitoring levels of the Southeast Asian artery after being informed by Beijing that the 1,750-megawatt Jinghong dam will need to release a huge volume of water downstream from Sept. 5-30 due to heavy rain upstream.

A provincial official of the Lao Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment told RFA’s Lao Service that China informed Vientiane on Sept. 1 about the release of water from the reservoir in the Jinghong dam in the upper half of Mekong known in China as Lanchang River.

While the water release has yet to cause any flooding in Laos, the official in Bokeo province warned Monday that water levels had already risen on the Mekong in the provincial capital of Houayxay.

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