The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Friday, 03 August 2018 01:00

Laos dam collapse: Floods into Cambodia

Laos dam collapse Floods into Cambodia Laos dam collapse Floods into Cambodia.

A part of a hydroelectric dam system under construction in southeast Laos's Champasak Province, collapsed on 23 July 2018, leading to widespread destruction and homelessness among the local population.

The collapse of the dam triggered floods to dangerous levels and thousands of people in northern Cambodia have evacuated the area. About 5 billion cubic meters of water gushed into the rivers on the border of Cambodia. At least 26 people have died due to the incident with 131 officially reported missing and 3.000 still in need of rescue. According to Men Kong, a spokesman for the provincial government, 700 soldiers, police and rescuers have been sent to help the evacuation of 17 villages across the region.

 In Laos, most of the 6,000 people took shelter in villages in neighboring areas, realizing that their properties have been destroyed.

 ''Beyond any doubt, this was a man-made disaster. It is very unlikely the Cambodian villages were notified of any incoming floodwater. Since this is a tributary system of the Mekong river, there is no built-in warning system for flood or disaster management between Laos and Cambodia," Brian Eyler, director of the Stimson Center's south-east Asia program states.

Locals La and his wife Aun were found at the main hospital in Attapeau. They experienced a tragic event as their daughters were swept away by the current. "I put my daughter and my wife on the boat. I tried to hold it but the water was very strong. I couldn't hold it any longer and the boat flipped over and my daughter fell into the water," La explained. As he and his wife desperately tried to find the toddler, their eldest girl aged four was also dragged under by the surging current.


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Laos villages submerged after dam collapse

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