Dried-up Mekong forces boats to reroute

Dried-up Mekong forces boats to reroute

Water in the Mekong River has fallen to the lowest level in a decade in That Phanom district of Nakhon Phanom. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)
Water in the Mekong River has fallen to the lowest level in a decade in That Phanom district of Nakhon Phanom. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)

NAKHON PHANOM: The Mekong River has almost dried up in That Phanom district, forcing boats that transport goods and passengers across the Thai-Lao border to find other routes.

The provicinial harbour office reported that water in the Mekong River as it flows through the province dropped to between 1 and 1.5 metres deep this week, the lowest in 10 years.

The low water had forced boats to change their course and reduce loading capacity.

The transnational Mekong has been drying up since November, with border trade now affected as boats have to spend more money on fuel for rerouting.

Once renowned for its biodiversity, the ecology of the Mekong River is now changing under pressure from flash floods and unusual drought caused by development, including hydroelectric dams built by China and Laos on its feeder subsidiaries.



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