Laos Dam Collapses, and Hundreds Are Missing


HONG KONG — Hundreds of people were missing on Tuesday after a billion-dollar hydropower dam that was under construction in Laos collapsed, killing several people and displacing more than 6,600 others, a state news agency said.

KPL, the official Lao news agency, reported that the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower dam collapsed at 8 p.m. on Monday, releasing five billion cubic meters of water and sweeping away homes in the southern province of Attapeu, which lies along the country’s border with Vietnam and Cambodia. The agency did not give an exact death toll.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos later suspended a planned government meeting and led members of his cabinet to monitor rescue and relief efforts around the collapsed dam, the agency reported on Tuesday.

Laos is a landlocked authoritarian state and one of the poorest countries in Asia.

Flooding in Attapeu Province, Laos, after the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam collapse.CreditVideo by idsala ອິດສະຫຼະ

The 410-megawatt dam was being built by the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company, a joint venture between a state-owned Laotian company and several other companies, the KPL agency said. Construction on the dam began in 2013, five years after the completion of a feasibility study, KPL reported.

The dam was expected to begin operating by 2019 and to generate approximately 1,879 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company says on its website. Ninety percent of the electricity would be sold to neighboring Thailand, and the other 10 percent within Laos, the company says.

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Vietnam: Climate change, dams will drastically impact Mekong region

Asiancorrespondent – THE millions of people who depend on the Mekong River for survival are at risk due to the twin threats of climate change and hydroelectric power plants. While the latter is often seen as part of the solution to the former, in this case hydroelectricity may, in fact, be a more urgent threat. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam: Climate change, dams will drastically impact Mekong region”

Dams upriver exacerbate drought in Mekong Delta

Update: March, 10/2016 – 09:14

Experts at the conference rejected study results that claimed the 11 hydropower dams in the Mekong River had little impact on Viet Nam and millions of people downstream. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong

vietnamnews – CẦN THƠ (VNS) — Aside from natural forces like climate change, countries’ actions have worsened the drought and salinity in Việt Nam’s Mekong Delta. Tiếp tục đọc “Dams upriver exacerbate drought in Mekong Delta”

Việt Nam: Biến đổi khí hậu, đập thủy điện sẽ ảnh hưởng thảm khốc đến khu vực Mê kông.

English – Vietnam: Climate change, dams will drastically impact Mekong region

Hàng triệu người có nguồn sinh kế dựa vào sông Mê Kong đang gặp rủi ro trước mối đe doạ kép của biến đổi khí hậu và các nhà máy thuỷ điện. Mặc dù nhà máy thuỷ điện thường được xem là một phần giải pháp chống biến đổi khí hậu, nhưng trong trường hợp này, thuỷ điện  thực tế lại là mối đe dọạ khẩn cấp hơn.

Khi phát triển kinh tế và cạnh tranh gây tổn hại tới thịnh vượng Tiếp tục đọc “Việt Nam: Biến đổi khí hậu, đập thủy điện sẽ ảnh hưởng thảm khốc đến khu vực Mê kông.”

Laos: Save the Mekong calls for cancellation of Don Sahong Dam citing far-reaching consequences on food & livelihood security

Author: Save the Mekong, Published on: 30 November 2015

“Save the Mekong Statement Calling for Cancellation of The Don Sahong Dam”, 25 Nov 2015

business-humanrights: The Save the Mekong Coalition urges Mekong governments to take immediate action to cancel the Don Sahong Dam before construction begins at the end of November.

The Government of Laos have announced that they intend to commence construction on the Don Sahong Dam, in Southern Laos, despite strong opposition to the project from local communities across the Mekong region, an absence of regional agreement and no resolution to the 1995 Mekong Agreement’s Prior Consultation process.

The Don Sahong Dam poses a significant transboundary risk to the Mekong’s valuable and irreplaceable inland fisheries. Blocking the Hou Sahong Channel will permanently disrupt fish migration and irreversibly alter the area’s complex ecosystem, with far-reaching consequences for food and livelihood security throughout the region…

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