In Laos, hundreds of people were missing after the destruction of the dam

CC BY 2.0 / Francisco Anzola / LaosЛаос. Archival photoIn Laos, hundreds of people were missing after the destruction of the damCC BY 2.0 / Francisco Anzola / Laos

Several people were killed and hundreds remain missing in the floods caused by the destruction of the dam in Laos, said on Tuesday the Lao state news Agency KPL.

According to the Agency, the accident occurred Monday in the area Sanami ATAPI mountainous province in southern Laos. After breaking out in several places, construction of hydropower dam, namely, additional dams caused flooding, injuring 6 of the 42 villages of the district (the»village» in Laos – the smallest administrative unit).

It is reported that more than 1.3 thousand families (6.6 thousand people) were left homeless.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisolit postponed the monthly meeting of the government and went with Ministers and other officials on the scene to monitor rescue and relief operation in the disaster area.

The provincial authorities managed to evacuate much of the population of the six villages on Monday when it became clear that the probable breakthrough of the dam. All who did not manage to evacuate, it was proposed to immediately leave their homes and go to higher ground, which water can’t get. During the day Tuesday continuing evacuation by boat from the flooded part of the district, reports the Internet-the website of the American losslosing ABC Laos from the event.

Dam hydroelectric Sepian-Se Nam Noi is being built by a consortium consisting of companies from South Korea, Laos, and Thailand, with financing from South Korea. Sepian-Se Nam Noi is one of a network of power stations built on mountain rivers of Laos, the hydropower potential is considered to be one of the highest in Asia. Building on already existing capacities, Laos exports electricity in large quantities in Thailand, and smaller in other neighboring countries. The creation of a large cascade of power plants on the Mekong river, its tributaries and the many mountain rivers in Laos can turn the country into «an electrical breadbasket of Asia», as it was predicted in a special report of the international expert group for the assessment of hydropower resources of the country in 1988. The majority of power plant projects in Laos financed by foreign investors, mostly enterprises from China and Thailand.

Before the construction of the power plants of the mountain province of Laos have not experienced flooding even during the rainy season when the plains provinces they occurred regularly. Accidents on construction sites of hydropower in recent years has repeatedly caused flooding in these previously unavailable to seasonal flooding mountain areas.