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Flood warning after Lao dam collapses

Sen David / Khmer Times With Reuters No Comments Share:
Residents in Laos escape flooding after a dam collapsed. MOWR

The Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology said that residents along the Sekong river in Stung Treng province should brace for floods following the collapse of a dam in Laos yesterday.

As of yesterday, the Laotian government has evacuated thousands of its citizens away from river banks following the dam’s collapse in Attapeu province.

The ministry said yesterday that the dam, named Se-Pian Se Nam Noi, was damaged due to floods.

“The dam in Laos is damaged. The water from this dam will flow into the Sekong river,” the ministry said. “All residents living along the river in Stung Treng province should beware.”

Stung Treng provincial Governor Mom Saroeun said yesterday that the dam incident hasn’t affected his province yet, but noted that local authorities were told to be prepared.

“Provincial officials are meeting about it,” Mr Saroeun said. “We are ready to intervene.”

Hundreds of people are missing and several are feared dead after the dam in southern Laos collapsed, causing flash flooding which swept away homes, state media reported yesterday. The disaster left more than 6,600 people homeless, the Lao News Agency reported.

Minister of the Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol delivers aid. Fresh News

Meanwhile, floods from heavy rainfall have continued to strike parts of the Kingdom.

The Mekong River Commission yesterday predicted that river water levels will continue to rapidly increase, affecting multiple regions in Cambodia.

“Water levels in Stung Treng will rise from 7.68 metres on July 18 to 9.25 metres today, while in Kratie, the water levels will jump from 7.68 metres to 9.25 metres over the same period,” the MRC said. “In Kampong Cham, there will be an increase of slightly over two meters.”

“These stations may reach their flood warning levels next week, when water levels in Stung Treng reach 12 meters, in Kratie 23 meters and in Kampong Cham 16.2 meters,” it added.

The report noted that further increases could prompt more flood warnings.

Last week, floods affected seven provinces, including Kampot, Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampong Speu, Ratanakkiri and Battambang province. The floods also hit the capital.

About 7,106 families were affected.

Ratanakkiri Provincial Hall spokesman Nhem Sam Oeun said that floods damaged 28 homes and hundreds of crops in the province.

On Monday, provincial authorities began evacuating villagers affected by floods along the Sesan river in the province. Water from the river is known to flood lowland areas such as Andoung Meas, Taveng, Veun Sai and O’yadav district.

Mr Sam Oeun added that the situation is improving, but warned that the worst is yet to come.

“The authorities are coming to assist villagers,” he said.

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