Some of the walls of the Xe-Namnoy dam in Attepeu province were broken down, which drowned several villages. “But we have not been able to determine the amount lost,” said Chana Miencharoen, Thai consulate official, as quoted by AFP.
Meanwhile, the level of flooding that reaches the roof of the house hampers efforts to save residents. Recordings on Laotian television show people crowding on the roof.
Water filled with mud soaked their homes. “All those killed were Laotians.
More than 6,000 people from 8 villages near the dam were affected by this disaster, “Chana said. The remote areas can only be accessed by helicopters and small boats. Meanwhile, the roads were badly damaged and washed away.
For information, the 1.2 billion US dollar dam is a project made by Energy Company Xe Pian Xe Namnoy (PNPC) based in the capital city of Vientiane.
The company is a joint venture between Laos businessmen, Thailand, and two South Korean businessmen. One of South Korea’s partner companies, SK Engineering & Construction, said the dam had suffered damage to its upper part before it collapsed.
“We immediately notified the authorities and began evacuating downstream villagers,” he said in a statement.
However, the repair effort was hampered by heavy rain which damaged the road. Water at the receding dam South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said the company involved in the project immediately sent relief teams in the affected areas. “Although we are still determining the cause of the dam accident, our government is actively taking part in the on-site rescue efforts,” Moon said through his spokesman.
According to reports directed at South Korean officials, there was a decrease in water around 11 cm in the center of the dam last Friday. Emergency repair tools cannot be used when the water level drops further.
“It’s still unclear what caused the water to recede at some point and cause cracks. But all this happened when heavy rain fell,” said a spokesman for Korea’s Western Power.
The plan, this dam if it is completed to build a hydropower plant that generates 410 megawatts of electricity and is expected to operate in 2019.
The project consists of a series of dams on the Houay Makchanh, Xe-Namnoy and Xe-Pian rivers in Champasak province. In accordance with the development agreement, PNPC will operate dams and hydropower for 27 years after commercial operations begin.