Natural disasters worldwide regularly impact on human activities. As a frequently occurring natural disaster, drought has adverse impacts on agricultural production. The Lancang-Mekong River is a transnational river running through China and five Southeast Asian countries and it is a vital water resource for irrigation in the region. Drought in the Lancang-Mekong Region (LMR) has occurred frequently in recent years. Assessing the risk of drought in the region is essential for rational planning of agricultural production and formulation of drought relief measures. In this study, an assessment of drought risk has been achieved by combining the hazard and vulnerability assessments for drought. The assessment of the drought hazard depends mainly on the standardized precipitation index (SPI). The assessment of drought vulnerability takes into account various indicators such as climatic factors (e.g., crop water stress index), soil factors (e.g., available water capacity), and irrigation factors (e.g., irrigation support). The results reveal that: (1) Drought distribution in the LMR is characterized by a spreading of the drought to countries along the middle and lower reaches of the Mekong River. Countries located in the middle and lower reaches of the Mekong River are more prone to drought. Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia are the regions with higher and high-drought risk levels. (2) The spatial distributions for the drought hazard and the drought vulnerability in the LMR exhibit significant differences as evidenced in the mapping results. High-hazard and high-vulnerability areas are mainly distributed in the middle LMR, and the middle to higher hazard areas and the middle to higher vulnerability areas are mainly distributed in the south-central LMR, while the low-hazard areas and the low-vulnerability areas are mainly in the north. (3) The majority of planting areas for sugarcane, rice, and cassava are located in the high-hazard areas. The distributions of drought-prone and high-hazard areas also correspond to the main agricultural areas in the LMR.
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