People flee from flooded areas after the collapse of the hydropower dam in Laos' Attapeu province (Photo: KPL/VNA)

 

Vientiane (VNA) – The Lao Government has decided to halt the implementation of all hydropower projects on which Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Project Development Assistance (PDA) contracts were already signed for further assessment and revision.

The information was unveiled by Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath at a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 7 to update on the flooding and recovery progress following the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydroelectricity dam in Attapeu province.

The press conference was also attended by leaders of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

Previously, the Lao Prime Minister’s Office announced that the vicinity of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam project is a temporarily prohibited area, and no organisations or individuals are allowed to enter this area without permissions from the government or local administration.

The announcement also said that Attapeu and neighbouring Champasak province are responsible for monitoring, examining and temporarily prohibiting all activities until the investigation and settlement of the dam collapse finish.

At about 8pm of July 23, the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam burst, flooding 10 villages in downstream areas and completely isolating Sanamxay district, where it is located. The collapse has affected more than 1,300 families with 6,600 people and made many others missing.

The Lao Government is coordinating with domestic and foreign working groups to address the aftermath and support affected residents.–VNA