VIENTIANE, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Noru, which has weakened and been downgraded to a tropical storm, has made landfall in Laos and caused flooding in southern Laos' Attapeu province.
The weather bureau of Laos warned on Wednesday that there would be more heavy rains and flooding in other areas.
According to a report by the Lao National Radio, a large number of people had been affected by the storm and some 300 houses were believed to have been inundated in Sanxay district in Attapeu province, some 560 km southeast of the Lao capital Vientiane, but full reports on the situation were still being compiled.
Noru reached Laos on Wednesday and local authorities were trying to assist those whose homes had been flooded.
At least 2,000 people had taken refuge in shelters and had moved away from the swollen rivers, said the report.
Flooding had also destroyed fishponds and damaged irrigation systems, schools, power lines, healthcare facilities, roads and other infrastructure.
Local authorities were continuing to collect information about the extent of the damage.
According to the report, the Ministry of National Defense had mobilized about 40,000 soldiers with vehicles and boats to assist with rescue and relief operations if necessary.
The Lao authorities urged all dams around the country to closely monitor the situation and prepare an emergency plan, especially for those whose reservoirs are nearly full.
Heavy rainfall in Laos in August triggered floods that damaged houses and infrastructure and inundated hundreds of hectares of farmland in many provinces and the capital Vientiane. ■