Lao dam collapse: 31 bodies found, 100 still missing

The rescue forces in Laos had found the bodies of 31 victims in the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam as of August 6, Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith revealed at an international press conference held in Vientiane on August 7.

Lao dam collapse: 31 bodies found, 100 still missing

So far, 100 people remain unaccounted for, the minister said, adding that more than 6,000 people affected by the incident had been arranged for temporary accommodations in Attapeu province.

He added that it would take many years for the country to address the serious consequences.

Therefore, the Lao government still needs assistance and sharing from other countries and non-governmental organisations, especially in searching and rescuing the missing, restoring and building infrastructure in affected villages, providing food and necessities for the victims, and preparing health equipment, medicines and ambulances, he said.

In the short term, the government will focus on arranging temporary accommodations for more than 6,000 people who were seriously affected by the incident, then resettlement. 

Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath said the government is setting up an investigation committee to coordinate with international organisations to look into the dam collapse.

The committee will examine the quality of nearly 50 hydropower dams which have been completed as well as the design of those under construction, he said, adding that Laos will also establish a water management board to keep track of the volume of water in lakes.

The Lao Government had decided to halt the signing of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Project Development Assistance (PDA) on hydropower nationwide to conduct further assessment and revision, he added.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam collapsed on July 23, causing massive floods which completely isolated six villages in the Sanamxay district of Attapeu province.-VNA

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