Hundreds Of People Missing After Dam Collapses In Laos

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People find temporary safety refuge on a rooftop, after waters from a collapsed dam flooded their village in the Attapeu district of southeastern Laos, Tuesday.

Attapeu Today / AP


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Attapeu Today / AP

People find temporary safety refuge on a rooftop, after waters from a collapsed dam flooded their village in the Attapeu district of southeastern Laos, Tuesday.

Attapeu Today / AP

A dam that collapsed in southern Laos has flooded villages and forced thousands of people to flee, state media report. The full scale of the disaster isn’t yet known: several deaths were reported, and hundreds of people were missing after the failure of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy dam – part of a larger hydroelectric dam network.

Photos from the area show desperate people crowded onto long boats to escape the high water; others climbed up to rooftops with the belongings they could carry. Officials are asking neighboring provinces for help – and for anyone with a boat to come ferry people to safety.

The flash flood started on Monday night in Attapeu province, according to the state-sponsored Vientiane Times newspaper, which says a “saddle dam” was overcome at a reservoir for a power plant – part of an ongoing project to construct a series of hydroelectric dams in southern Laos.

“Some seven villages home to about 1,300 families and over 6,000 people were under water,” the newspaper reports, citing the Attapeu Planning and Investment Department’s director, Soulichanh Phonkeo.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith suspended a monthly government meeting to visit the stricken region and review evacuation and relief efforts along with members of his cabinet, state news agency KPL reports.

The Xe-Namnoy River was diverted in April of 2015 as part of the hydroelectric project.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/2018/07/24/631770020/hundreds-of-people-missing-after-dam-collapses-in-laos?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

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