The water from the hydroelectric dam that collapsed Monday in Laos, submerging villages and killing more than 130 missing, has now reached the Cambodia neighbor, engulfing 17 villages and leaving thousands displaced. “Ten-seven villages have been flooded due to the flood caused by the collapse of the dam in Laos”, said to AFP Men Kong, a spokesman for the province of Stung Streng.
“We have evacuated 5.600 villagers as their homes were submerged,” he said, without making state of the dead or missing. The cambodian authorities, who are organising Sunday’s legislative elections, expect to see a rise of the waters, and new evacuations. In total, 131 people were reported missing in Laos after the collapse on Monday of the dam Xe-Namnoy, which has submerged entire villages in the province of Attapeu.
In Laos, the villagers had not been warned in time
The monsoon rains complicate the work of rescue, and the roads have been badly damaged or entirely washed away. Survivors interviewed by AFP in Laos deplored not having been warned in time of the risks they were taking, while damage, caused by extremely heavy rain, had been spotted on the structure several days prior to its collapse.
China, Vietnam and Thailand have deployed Thursday of rescuers in Laos. The Prime minister of laos, Thongloun Sisoulith, delivered on Wednesday evening a first balance sheet of the disaster: 131 missing. But the blur reigned Thursday as to the number of deaths, the consul thai in Laos, on the spot, referring to 26 bodies recovered up to now, without the communist regime, the authoritarian laotian, very secret, not confirmation.
More than 50 hydropower projects are underway in Laos, a small country that is rural and mountainous, landlocked in the heart of the indochinese peninsula. Laos exports most of this electricity, especially to China, Vietnam and Thailand.
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