27/07/2018 14:41 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam offers aid to victims of dam collapse in Laos

Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung on July 26 handed over 200,000 USD in aid relief from the Vietnamese Government to Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Thongsavanh Phomvihane in order to help the country in the aftermath of the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam.

At the event, Trung affirmed that the Party, State and people of Vietnam are willing to assist Laos in overcoming the incident.

For his part, the Lao Ambassador thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for the support, saying that the assistance will be sent to those in need as soon as possible.

Earlier on July 24 and 25, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong; President Tran Dai Quang; Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc; National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan; and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh all sent messages of sympathy to their Lao counterparts over the great human and property losses caused by the collapse of the hydropower dam in Attapeu province.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam collapsed at 8pm on July 23, releasing 5 billion cubic metres of water which completely isolated Sanamxay district.

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said at a press conference on July 25 that the dam collapse had already affected 13 villages and is now affecting six others as the floods are still ongoing.

He informed that 587 families with 3,060 people have been made homeless, and 131 people are still missing.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydro electric power plant is being constructed by the Sepien-Senamnoi Power Company (PNPC), which is a joint-venture of SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C), Korea Western Power (KOWEPO), Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH) and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE).

Construction of the project began in February 2013 and commercial operations were expected to begin this year.