Mekong water level in Nakhon Phanom drops amid drought fears

Mekong water level in Nakhon Phanom drops amid drought fears

A boat cruises in the Mekong River in Muang district of Nakhon Phanom province on Sunday. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)
A boat cruises in the Mekong River in Muang district of Nakhon Phanom province on Sunday. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)

NAKHON PHANOM: The level of water in the Mekong river in this northeastern border province is dropping rapidly, exhibiting the most unnatural phenomenon in 50 years, according to local media reports.

The reports said water in the Mekong river is dropping by 10-20 centimetres per day. The water level is currently about 1.50 metres, about 11 metres below the top of the river bank.

The Mekong's river tributaries, including Nam Oun, Nam Songkhram and Nam Kam streams, are also running out of water. Water levels in major reservoirs in the province's 12 districts have also dropped to only 10-20% of their holding capacities, affecting rice crops that are currently close to being harvested.

Local people believe this is a result of dams in China releasing little or no water downstream, as well as this year's low volume of rain.

A rock formation said to be a 2,000-year-old Buddha footprint in the middle of the river usually emerges from the water during March and April every year. But the Buddha footprint, located in the middle of the Mekong river in front of Wat Woen Phra Bat temple in Tha Uthen district, is already visible.

People said this is the most unnatural phenomonon in 50 years.


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