Connect with us

Southeast Asia

Hundreds dead, thousands displaced – Laos dam bust.




(5 minute read)

The heavy rains in northern, north-eastern Thailand and southern Laos have caused a partially man-made disaster affecting hundreds of Loas homes with hundreds of people still missing.

Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes in Laos’ southern Attapeu province following the collapse of part of a hydroelectric dam under construction.

The disaster came hours after an official of the construction firm warned of imminent danger.

One of five saddle dams supporting the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy Dam collapsed at 8pm on Monday, releasing 5 billion cubic metres of water. Houses in Attapeu’s southern Sanamxay district were swept away, claiming lives, and several hundred people were missing, according to the state-run Lao News Agency.

Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith suspended his monthly cabinet meeting and led senior government officials to Sanamxay to monitor rescue and relief efforts.

The collapse of the support dam caused flash flooding in six Sanamxay villages – Yai Thae, Hinlad, Mai, Thasengchan, Tha Hin and Samong. Hinlad and Mai were particularly hard hit. Pictures and videos shown on state-run and social media showed the chaotic evacuation of people from inundated areas. Many people were seen clinging to the roofs of their houses, surrounded by water.

Hundreds dead, thousands displaced - Laos dam bust. | News by Thaiger

There are claims on social media of many people dead and missing but no official reports at this stage.
Authorities in Attapeu are pleading for agencies to provide emergency aid for the victims, including clothing, food, drinking water and medicine. Attapeu Planning and Investment Department Director Soulichanh Phonkeo told the Vientiane Times newspaper that some victims were washed away in the torrent, but many managed to grab tree branches and wait for rescue.

“We need a large number of boats to rescue them from the danger area,” he said.

An official of Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Co (PNPC) had on Monday issued a warning of danger at the dam. In a letter, the company’s head of resettlement, Lee Kan Yeol, told colleagues in Champasak and Attapeu provinces that, “Saddle Dam D is not safe and is in very dangerous condition” due to heavy rainfall. He advised that the saddle dam’s failure would unleash five billion tonnes of water into the Xe Pian River basin. Lee said people living along the river downstream should be moved to higher ground to avoid an “unfortunate accident” if the heavy rain caused one.

Pianporn Deetes of the conservation group International Rivers said there were major risks with dams that are not designed to cope with extreme weather conditions such as very heavy rain. And unpredictable extreme weather events are becoming more frequent in the region due to climate change, she said.

“This disaster also shows the inadequacy of warning systems for the dam construction and operations. The warning appears to have to come very late and was ineffective in giving people advance notice to ensure their families’ safety,”” said Pianporn.

Hundreds dead, thousands displaced - Laos dam bust. | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Thailand's largest online portal for news and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Expats8 hours ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand14 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs14 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand15 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport15 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of15 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism16 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of16 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand16 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket17 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8