The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control in Hanoi released the information at a conference on July 25.
At the event, the committee detailed the incident, saying that prolonged downpours caused by Storm Son Tinh had worsened flooding in many regions in Laos, bursting a dam at Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower reservoir in Sanamxay district of Attapeu province at 8pm of July 23.
The dam collapse caused serious floods in lower areas, leaving more than 131 missing and 587 families with 3,060 people homeless, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said at a press conference on July 25. On July 24, the Lao government declared Sanamxay district an emergency disaster zone.
According to a report of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA), monsoon and rainfalls brought by Storm Son Tinh have affected 3,452 families in 349 villages of 41 Lao districts, and destroyed more than 200 houses entirely.
However, the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research of Vietnam said this incident will not cause a big impact on the Mekong Delta region, as flows from the dam collapse will only raise the water level in the region by 7-10cm at the Tan Chau station on July 27-28.
The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control stressed the need to keep a close watch on the incident.
The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower plant was being constructed by the Sepien-Senamnoi Power Company (PNPC).
PNPC is a joint venture between Republic of Korea’s SK E&C and Korea Western Power, Thailand’s Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, and Laos’ Holding Sate Enterprise.
The project, estimated to cost US$1.02 billion, is the first build-operate-transfer (BOT) model to be undertaken by Korean companies in Laos.