Hundreds missing after flash floods hit villages in Laos
July 24, 2018 02:29 PM NPT
A computer-generated image of a dam being built in Laos by Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company
LAOS, July 24: Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number dead after a dam collapsed in south-east Laos, state media reported.
The collapse at the hydroelectric dam in Attapu province late on Monday sent flash floods through six villages, Laos News Agency said.
"Several human lives" were lost and "several hundreds of people [are] missing", it added.
More than 6,600 people have been made homeless by the floods, reports said.
The reason for the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy dam's collapse is not clear.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has postponed government meetings and gone to the affected area in Sanamxay district with senior officials to monitor relief efforts, state media said.
Local authorities have appealed to government bodies and other communities to help provide emergency aid for the victims such as clothing, food, drinking water and medicine.
Officials have brought boats to help evacuate people in San Sai district of Attapeu province in the southeast of the country as water levels rise after the dam collapsed, ABC Laos news reported.
It did not provide further details about the incident.
Environmental rights groups have for years raised concerns about Laos’ hydropower ambitions, including worries over the impact of dams on the Mekong River, its flora and fauna and the rural communities and local economies that depend on it.