Lao PDR

Lao dam collapse floods nearby towns and affects thousands of people

Sources
Posted
Originally published

Lao PDR/Kuala Lumpur, 25 July 2018 – The recent collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam in Lao's Attepeu province on Monday has caused massive flash floods in nearby towns, affecting nearly 7,000 people in at least 7 areas and displacing more than 1,000. More than 100 houses were damaged following the collapse, forcing people to seek shelter in local government buildings and schools. 

"It is believed that heavy rain and flooding has caused the dam to overflow and ultimately, led to its collapse," said Marwan Jilani, Head of IFRC's office in Bangkok. "Lao Red Cross staff and volunteers are focusing on emergency assistance immediately following the flash floods. They are experienced in search and rescue, first aid, and have handled serious flooding in the past. They are ready to respond to this challenging operation."

Red Cross teams in the Attepeu branch have distributed clothing, food and drinking water to households in the affected area. They have also collected 2,500 kilograms of rice and will distribute them today, along with other food and non-food items such as tarpaulins and blankets, and a water purification unit to ensure affected communities will have safe drinking water. Water purification units will be mobilized from nearby Khammouane and Champasack provinces.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is ready to release an emergency fund for immediate support to bolster relief and recovery efforts on the ground.

"IFRC is utilising its Disaster Relief and Emergency Fund (DREF) for immediate support to address some of the most pressing concerns and needs, including food items and non-food items, as much of the food supply in the areas around the dam have been soaked through and damaged. At the same time IFRC is working on launching an emergency appeal in support of Lao Red Cross to address both emergency and recover needs of affected communities." added Marwan. Assistance from the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in the neighbouring countries will also be coordinated by IFRC to support Lao Red Cross.

Local Red Cross officials and IFRC staff in the region are closely monitoring the situation as it develops. 

For more information:

In Lao PDR: Naly Pothilack, International Relations Officer, Lao Red Cross, Mobile: +856 2055 561 383

In Bangkok: Marwan Jilani, Head of Country Cluster Support Team, Bangkok, +66 2 661 8201, marwan.jilani@ifrc.org / Tiamkare Thitithamtada, +66 81 422 4248, Tiamkare.THITITHAMTADA@ifrc.org

In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane, +41 9 251 80 39, matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org