Dam collapse in Laos: Sanamxay declared emergency disaster zone
Updated : Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3:22 PM (GMT+0700)

TheLao government on July 24 declared Sanamxay district in Attapeu province anemergency disaster zone after the collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropowerdam flooded the district.

Sanamxay district submerged after dam collapse - Source: xinhua

The Xepian-Xe Nam Noyhydropower dam burst at 20:00 on July 23, releasing 5 billion cu.m of waterwhich caused flash flooding in 10 villages in lower areas and completelyisolated Sanamxay district. Five out of Sanamxay district’s villages, namelyMay, Hinlath, NhaytheSanong Tay, Thasengchan and Thahin, were entirelysubmerged.

According to localauthorities, 18 bodies have been found while about 200 people are stillmissing. No Vietnamese casualties have been reported so far.

Head of the Secretariat ofLaos’ National Disaster Management Committee Prasong Vongkhamchan said thecommittee is providing accommodation, food, clothes and medicine to thevictims.

It has also worked withsoldiers and police officers to move affected residents to safer areas and tosearch for missing people.

The Xepian-Xe Nam Noyhydropower plant is being constructed by the XePian-XeNamnoy Power Company(PNPC). 

The PNPC is a joint venturebetween Republic of Korea’s SK E&C and Korea Western Power, Thailand’sRatchaburi Electricity Generating Holding and Lao Holding SateEnterprise. 

The project, estimated tocost 1.02 billion USD, is the first Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) one to beundertaken by Korean companies in Laos. 

On July 24, RatchaburiElectricity Generating Holding issued a press release announcing thatunexpected heavy rains caused the dam to collapse.

High volumes of rainwaterfractured the dam and caused a deluge in the downstream area of Xe-Pian River,it said.


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