Eleven people were confirmed dead while 120 remained missing after a dam collapsed which trigged flash flood in southern Laos last Monday, a officer from the Lao People’s Army said on Monday.
Two bodies were found Monday, one in a village in the disaster-hit area and one in Kratie province in northeastern Cambodia, said Khamlieng Outhakaisone, deputy director general of the General Staff Department (GSD) of the Lao People’s Army, who is also the commander of the rescue operation.
The collapse of a under-construction saddle dam of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower project, invested by South Korean, Thai and Lao companies, last Monday unleashed some 5 billion cubic meters of water to hit some 13 villages of Sanamxay district in southern Lao’s Attapeu Province.
Khamlieng said that the Lao authorities are still making efforts to search for those missing people day and night and they will try to bring in equipment and machines to speed up the work.
He also thanked rescue teams from China, Thailand and other countries to join the work.
The Lao government firstly said there were some 131 people missing after the dam collapse, and Minaphone Saisomphu, deputy party committee secretary of Attapeu Province and deputy commander of the rescue operation, told Xinhua earlier that “missing” here means these people were swept away by floods, and they counted the number according to reports from villagers who witnessed people swept away.
With now 11 bodies found, the number of missing people decreased to 120.
As for a early release from the Lao side that some 1,100 people haven’t reported to the government, Khamlieng said they got the number by subtracting the number of rescued villagers from the total population of 13 affected villages.
“These days there are more villagers coming to report themselves and now the number decreased to 765. I believe they are not taken by the floods and just they haven’t reported to the government in time,” he said, adding that they would get the more accurate number soon.
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