Home Foreign Laos dam death toll climbs to 34 as search efforts continue

Laos dam death toll climbs to 34 as search efforts continue


Bangkok –   The death toll following a dam collapse in south-eastern Laos climbed to 34 on Monday as search and rescue efforts entered the third week, local media reported.

Ninety-seven people remained missing as of Monday, with more than 10,000 people living in overcrowded shelters, ABC Laos News reported.

The Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam, which was still under construction when it collapsed on July 23, released up to five billion cubic metres of water in Attapeu province, sweeping away thousands of homes.

Rescuers told the local agency the effort was “extremely difficult” due to deep mud.

Laos Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath said shortly after the dam collapse that the dam construction was “sub-standard’’.

However, the Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that the government would investigate the companies involved in the one billion dollar project.

Laos is a poor landlocked country is South-East Asia.

In recent years its economy has relied heavily on hydroelectric power sales, accounting for up to two-thirds of its total exports, according to the International Hydropower Association.

The country has a total of 46 hydroelectric dams, with 54 more planned and being constructed.

Two other dams in Laos burst their banks in the past two years, raising concerns over construction safety.

Laos has sought to become the “battery of Asia” by 2020.


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