Vietnam donates $200,000 for dam collapse relief efforts in Laos

By Huyen Le   July 26, 2018 | 06:01 pm PT
Vietnam donates $200,000 for dam collapse relief efforts in Laos
A woman in Sanamxai, Attapeu, Laos, stands by what is left of her belongings after a dam collapse on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday handed $200,000 in aid to Laos as it struggled with a dam collapse disaster.

At a ceremony held at the ministry's headquarters, Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung emphasized that the leaders and the people of Vietnam are closely following the incident and expressed deep sympathy and condolences for the Lao people.

"The Party, the State and the people of Vietnam are ready to do anything possible to help Laos overcome this difficulty and swiftly recover from the consequences of this incident," Trung said.

Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Thongsavanh Phomvihane expressed his gratitude for Vietnam's timely assistance.

According to official reports, flooding triggered by the collapse of a partially-constructed hydropower dam in Laos's southeastern Attapeu Province on Monday night have so far killed 27 people, left 131 missing and more than 3,000 people stranded.

As of Thursday, there has been no report of Vietnamese casualties and no Vietnamese is listed among the missing people. 15 Vietnamese families living in the affected area have all been evacuated to safety, and a group of 26 Vietnamese stranded in a plantation in the area were rescued by helicopter on Wednesday.

The Vietnamese foreign ministry has instructed its diplomatic missions in Laos and Cambodia to closely monitor the situation, proactively implement necessary measures to support Vietnamese families and coordinate with local and Vietnamese agencies in order to promptly handle any problem that might arise.

The collapsed dam is part of a hydropower project being built by the Vientiane-based Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company, or PNPC, a joint venture between Laos, Thailand and South Korea formed in 2012.

Work on the $1.02 billion dam had started in February 2013 and was scheduled to be completed later this year.

The 410MW hydropower plant was to export 90 percent of its electricity output to Thailand, and send 10 percent to the national grid in Laos.

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