Hundreds of people were missing in Laos on Tuesday following the collapse of a hydroelectric dam under construction in this small country in Southeast Asia, the official Laotian news agency reported.
The dam, located in Attapeu province (south-east), near the Vietnamese border, collapsed Monday night and released five billion cubic meters of water and “several deaths and hundreds of missing,” Said the official agency of the communist regime.
Several houses were also destroyed in the disaster, according to the agency.
Dozens of dams are under construction in Laos, which exports most of its hydroelectric power to neighboring countries, including Thailand.
For many years, environmental organizations have expressed concern over Laos’ hydroelectric ambitions, especially because of the impact of the dams on the Mekong, its flora and fauna. Rural people and local economies depend on it.
The dam of Attapeu province, a project worth more than $ 1 billion, has been under construction since 2013.
It is being developed by Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company (PNPC), a joint venture formed by the Thai company Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, the Korean company Korea Western Power and the Laotian state-owned Lao Holding State Enterprise.
With a capacity of 410 megawatts, it was to start supplying electricity from 2019, according to the PNPC website. And 90% of the energy produced had to be exported to Thailand, the rest being distributed locally.
Aira McDonald is a seasoned journalist with nearly 15 years experience. While studying journalism at the University of Detroit,, Aira found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to PR News Globe, Aira mostly covers human interest pieces.