Drought and floods

Villagers return to ruined homes in Laos

Ms Pheng outside her flood-damaged hardware store in Khokong village yesterday. Her family is safe but her store is a tangle of damaged goods. Nothing could be saved, she said.
Ms Pheng outside her flood-damaged hardware store in Khokong village yesterday. Her family is safe but her store is a tangle of damaged goods. Nothing could be saved, she said.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Her pants spattered with cracking mud and toenails crusted in dirt from hours trudging through the marshy ruins of her village, the 38-year-old store owner finally returned home yesterday - only to find her old life in tatters.

Her hardware store was a tangle of damaged goods, some dented and stained, others half-buried in drying mud on the streets outside.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2018, with the headline 'Villagers return to ruined homes in Laos'. Print Edition | Subscribe