Mekong water turns greenish-blue in Nakhon Phanom

Mekong water turns greenish-blue in Nakhon Phanom

The blue-hued Mekong River is seen in Nakhon Phanom. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)
The blue-hued Mekong River is seen in Nakhon Phanom. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)

NAKHON PHANOM: Water in the Mekong river in this northeastern border province has turned from yellowish-brown to greenish-blue -- a strange phenomenon that makes the river look beautiful but could be a sign of danger, according to a local media report.

The water in the Mekong river is about 1 metre high, the lowest level in about 50 years. Sandbanks have emerged in the middle of the river in Tha Uthen and Muang districts, some covering an area of several hundred rai stretching 2-3 kilometres along the river, affecting boat service across the river between Thailland and Laos.

As the level has dropped, the water itself has turned greenish-blue -- like sea water -- and the Mekong river running by Nakhon Phanom has become picturesque, drawing a large number of people to take selfies.

Despite the beauty, a group of Mekhong conservationists warned it could be a sign of danger -- an indication that the water shortage could become more critical than before.

Arthit Phanasoon, chairman of the Nakhon Phanom Conservationists Group, said the low level of water has come earlier than in previous years, and has been caused not only by dams in China and Laos but also climate change and global warming.

He said this could lead to the destruction of the eco-system and the extinction of Mekong fish species. The problem must be solved at an international level, not just by one of the countries in the Mekong river basin alone, he added.

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