Ninteen people confirmed dead, 3000 to be rescued after Laos dam collapse: Reports | world news | Hindustan Times
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Ninteen people confirmed dead, 3000 to be rescued after Laos dam collapse: Reports

A wall of water was unleashed Monday after parts of the dam were washed away, sending floods surging downstream, sweeping away homes and leaving an unknown number of people missing.

world Updated: Jul 25, 2018 11:14 IST
Laos dam collapse,Laos,Laos dam
Villagers are evacuated after the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed in Attapeu province, Laos.(Reuters File Photo)

Nineteen people died and more than 3,000 need to be rescued after a dam collapsed in a remote part of land-locked Laos, local media reported on Wednesday.

The English-language Vientiane Times, citing district governor Bounhom Phommasane, said more than 3,000 people “require rescue” and about 2,851 people have been saved.

About 19 people have been “found dead”, the paper said.

News agency AFP reported bodies of 17 people have been recovered after the flash floods caused by the dam breach in southern Laos, according to a Thai consular officer.

A wall of water was unleashed Monday after parts of the dam were washed away, sending floods surging downstream, sweeping away homes and leaving an unknown number of people missing.

“There are 17 bodies recovered so far, but we can not estimate the number of missing yet,” Chana Miencharoen, told AFP, adding roof-level flood waters have submerged several villages near the Xe-Namnoy dam.

“All the dead are Laotian... more than 6,000 are affected from eight villages near the dam,” he said, from the relief centre in Attepeu province, where the disaster occurred on Monday.

The remote area is only accessible by helicopter and flat-bottomed boats, with roads badly damaged by the flash flooding or completely washed away.

Communist Laos is criss-crossed by a vast network of rivers and scores of dams are being built or planned in the impoverished and landlocked country, which exports most of its hydropower energy to neighbouring countries like Thailand.

The South Korean partner in the hydropower project said Wednesday it discovered the upper part of the structure had washed away 24 hours before it collapsed.

SK Engineering & Construction said it discovered the damage to an auxiliary dam at around 9:00 pm Sunday local time.

“We immediately alerted the authorities and began evacuating (nearby) villagers downstream,” it said in a statement.

First Published: Jul 25, 2018 11:14 IST