MRC Says Mekong Rises ‘Significantly’ Over Week
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) says torrential rains caused a “big jump” in Mekong water levels in the week to Wednesday.
In a statement released Friday, the MRC Secretariat in Vientiane said: “Water levels have increased significantly over the last seven days but some sections will see a slight dip over the next five days.”
“Heavy rainfall throughout the Mekong region that started at the beginning of June has contributed to the rise, with recorded river levels at most monitoring stations above their long-term values.”
Dr. Lam Hong Son — head of the MRC’s Regional Flood and Drought Management Centre in Phnom Penh — said the region’s average rainfall this month was about 60 percent higher than the same periods in 2019 and 2020.
Dr. Son said tropical storm Koguma caused flash floods in many areas of Laos last weekend, triggering landslides and widespread damage to property. In Cambodia, the MRC said water levels between Stung Treng and Neak Loeung reportedly rose by 0.65 metres between June 9 and 16.
During the next five days, water levels are forecast to rise by a further 0.60 metres. In the Vietnamese border towns of Tan Chau on the Mekong and Chau Doc on the Bassac, water levels were close to long-term values reflecting tidal effects.
In China, outflows at Jinghong hydrological station saw a “slight fluctuation” between June 9 and 16. “This followed rapid variations between the middle and end of May that saw an average drop of 1.33 metres per day in the water level,” the MRC statement said.
MRC chart showing Mekong water levels in Kampong Cham during the first half of June (blue). Water levels in the 2019 season are in gray, and levels in 2020 are in purple.