WORLD 6 confirmed dead, 125 missing after dam collapses in southern Laos

WORLD

6 confirmed dead, 125 missing after dam collapses in southern Laos

Xinhua

20:52, July 27, 2018

SANAMXAY, Laos, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Six people were confirmed dead while 125 remained missing after a dam collapsed, triggering flash flood in southern Laos on Monday, a provincial official said on Friday.

The "missing" referred to those swept away by floods, and the number was based on reports from villagers who witnessed people being swept away, Minaphone Saisomphu, deputy secretary of the party committee of Attapeu Province, also deputy commander of the rescue operation, told Xinhua.

Rescuers were working round the clock to search for the missing, said Minaphone.

However, rescue operations were hampered by rain, and vehicles and rescue boats had difficulty entering the disaster-hit area as heavy mud blocked the way.

According to Minaphone, 413 people were transferred from the flood-hit area to temporary shelters in Sanamxay district on Friday.

The collapse of the under-construction Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam on Monday caused flash flooding in several villages of Sanamxay district.

Being constructed by Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company, a joint venture of South Korean, Thai and Lao companies, the hydroelectric power project is estimated to coast 1.02 billion U.S. dollars, and to have an annual electricity generation of approximately 1,860 GWh.

Feasibility study for the hydroelectric project was completed in November 2008. Construction of the project began in February 2013 and commercial operations are expected to begin in 2018.

Cover image: A woman grieves in the flood ravaged village in Sanamxai, Attapeu province, on July 26, 2018. (Photo: VCG)

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