Lao dam collapse hits Vietnamese firms

By Ky Duyen   July 25, 2018 | 05:35 pm GMT+7

Two Vietnamese firms have been hit by the dam collapse in Laos, and 26 citizens are among thousands trapped in flooded Attapeu Province.

Villagers evacuate after the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed in Attapeu province, Laos July 24, 2018. Picture taken July 24, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Stringer

Villagers evacuate after the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed in Attapeu province, Laos July 24, 2018. Picture taken July 24, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Stringer

The 26 Vietnamese citizens are employees of Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), a major Vietnamese investor in Attapeu.

Doan Nguyen Duc, HAGL chairman, said he plans to dispatch a helicopter on Wednesday afternoon to rescue the trapped workers and offered to help Lao authorities in their rescue efforts.

HAGL’s assets in Laos consist of 17,000 hectares of rubber plantation, a hydropower project 200 kilometers away from the collapsed dam and a small-scale fruit farm, where the employees are trapped.

The financial damage it has suffered is not remarkable, HAGL has said in a statement.

Military-run telecom giant Viettel has lost four transmitting towers in the province’s Sananxay District, where the dam as located, and the flooding has rendered equipment inoperable, said Dang Quang Hieu, Viettle deputy manager of Viettel’s branch office in Attapeu.

“Two more towers are currently out of reach because of fast rising waters,” he said.

CMVietnam is the only Vietnamese contractor involved in the construction of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower dam which just collapsed. But the company has said the dam breach has not affected the construction work that it is in charge of.

CMVietnam is a subcontractor for SK Engineering & Construction, a South Korean builder that is one of the partners in the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower dam project.

CMVietnam is responsible for constructing a factory, pressure pipes, distribution stations and electromechanical systems.

It said that the construction has been basically finished and was ready to be handed over.

Although there has been no direct damage, CMVietnam chairman Pham Minh Khuc said that there would be delay in handing over the project as the result of the flood.

As of Wednesday afternoon, nineteen people have been confirmed dead and more than 3,000 trapped, Laos media reported.

Hundreds were reported missing after walls of water washed away villages and rescuers on Wednesday continued to search floodwaters for survivors, a government official told Reuters.

Laos has planned a dam-building spree in order to become the “battery of Asia”. The dams will be built by foreign companies under deals wherein power is exported to countries like Thailand.

 
 
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