Flash floods and heavy monsoon rains have battered Laos, killing at least 20 people.

The torrential downpours have also swept away roads and destroyed crops.

116,000 people have now been affected; many have been left without access to clean water.

The flooding has been caused by the annual rains, which this year have been intensified by a number of tropical cyclones.

Although the storms themselves have not made landfall in Laos, Typhoon Utor and Tropical Storm Mangkhut have been close enough to intensify the rains and cause widespread flooding.

There are fears that there could be more heavy rain across the region in the next few weeks, as the rainy season runs from May till the end of September.

The United Nations warned last year that the country of 6.4 million could face more natural disasters due to climate change and needed to be better prepared.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies