PHOTOS: Joint Press Corps-Yonhap
The Korea Herald is reporting that a South Korean medical team has flown into in Laos yesterday with relief supplies following the deadly flooding that resulted from the collapse of a dam that was being constructed by a Korean builder.
An emergency relief team composed of 15 medical personnel and five support staff arrived at Pakse International Airport in Champasak Province, southern Laos, at about 6 p.m. (on local time) aboard a Korean military plane.
They are on a 10-day mission to treat displaced residents in the rain-lashed southern Laotian province of Attapeu and prevent the spread of contagious diseases, according to the South Korean foreign ministry.
A dam built on a mountain saddle of a larger hydropower dam project gave way on Monday. SK Engineering & Construction, a South Korean firm, is a partner in the project.
The dam is one of five auxiliary dams in the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy project, which collapsed, flooding seven nearby villages and displacing more than 6,600 people. The flooding has killed at least 27 people, leaving more than 130 missing, according to local media reports.
The team plans to install a base camp, possibly on Monday, at a health service center in the Sanamxay town of Attapeu Province and work in cooperation with the medical staff from the provincial hospital. “We’re going to move quickly with a goal of setting up a clinic there tomorrow,” Roh said. “We will also dispatch our medical personnel to the provincial hospital upon request.”
The team is the first South Korean emergency medical team to be dispatched since 2014, when the government sent a team to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone.
In rescue efforts, the government will provide $500,000 in cash and $500,000 worth of materials to help Laos recover from the disaster.
The supplies include 1,200 blankets, clothing and sanitation items provided by the government, the South Korean Red Cross and SK Engineering & Construction Co. (SK E&C), the ministry said.
Meanwhile, SK E&C says it is in the process of building lodgings for 150 households currently being accommodated at three schools. The builder said that the 200 workers sent to the country are working without rest and are moving swiftly to distribute 2 billion won ($1.78 million) worth of relief supplies to those affected by the flooding.
The company has brought in 50 tons of food, 50 tons of medicine and household goods and 10 tons of clothing to help those displaced by the disaster.
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