collapse at the hydroelectric dam in Attapeu province late on Monday
sent flash floods through six villages.
than 6600 people have been made homeless, Lao News Agency reported.
have been trying to rescue stranded villagers by boat.
authorities have appealed to government bodies and other communities
to provide emergency aid such as clothing, food, drinking water and
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has postponed government meetings
and gone to the affected area in Sanamxay district to monitor relief
efforts, state media says.
local Attapeu official told AFP that there was no phone signal in the
flooded areas, adding to communication problems.
is Lao's southernmost province, and borders Cambodia and Vietnam.
is known for agriculture, rich trees and wood-based industries - and
hydropower is one of its major exports.
did the dam collapse?
dam that collapsed is part of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric
power project, which involves Laotian, Thai and South Korean firms.
Engineering & Construction, a South Korean company with a stake
in the project, said in a statement that "partial damage"
was discovered at the dam on Sunday evening.
repairs that night failed because of heavy rain and damaged road
links, and by Monday there was further damage to the dam, and
villages downstream were told to evacuate, the statement said.
Electricity Generating Holding, the main Thai stakeholder, said in a
statement that the dam had collapsed on Monday after "continuous
rainstorm(s)" caused a "high volume of water to flow into
the project's reservoir".
a result, the dam "was fractured" and water "leaked to
the downstream area and down to Xe-Pian River" about 5km away.
government in Laos has launched an ambitious dam-building scheme to
become the "battery of Asia".
sits on the Mekong River and its tributaries - a perfect location for
country had 46 operational hydroelectric power plants in 2017, and 54
more under construction.
2020, Laos also plans to build 54 more electricity transmission lines
and 16 substations.
already exports two-thirds of its hydropower, with electricity making
up roughly 30 percent of all Laotian exports.