More aid from Vietnam reaches survivors of Lao dam collapse hinh anh 1Relief supplies are transported to survivors in the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam in Laos. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue has asked the Ministry of National Defence to join disaster relief efforts for victims in the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam in Laos following the instruction of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The Ministry of National Defence has ordered the High Command of Military Region 5 to send more than 100 military personnel and 9 vehicles of different types to Laos to aid those affected by the incident in Attapeu province.

According to the committee, as of 4:00 pm of July 27, the High Command of Military Region 5 has sent 450 million VND worth of aid supplies, including food and bottled water, to Attapeu. The 15th military corps which is stationed in the Central Highlands has provided 10 million LAK (1,186 USD) to assist survivors in the province.

On July 27, a team of military medical workers from Vietnam gave free health checkups and medicine to 200 people living in the affected areas while Vietnamese armed forces of Military Region 5 coordinated with Lao authorities to search for missing people and direct traffic.

The Central Highlands of Kon Tum has also donated 550 million VND (23,770 USD) in cash and 200 million VND (8,644 USD) worth of relief supplies to the dam collapse victims.

On the same day, the National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue proposed to PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc to send supplies from the national reserve to help Laos overcome the aftermath of the disaster.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam collapsed at 8:00pm on July 23, causing flash floods which completely isolated Sanamxay district. 

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said at a press conference on July 25 that the dam break had already ravaged 13 villages and affected six others as the flood was still flowing. 

He told reporters that 587 families with 3,060 people were made homeless, while 131 people were reported missing. 

Lao authorities confirmed that no Vietnamese citizens were reported missing after the disaster. Some 15 households of Vietnamese citizens living in flooded area were evacuated to safe places.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydroelectric power plant is being constructed by the Sepien-Senamnoi Power Company (PNPC), which is a joint-venture of SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C), Korea Western Power (KOWEPO), Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH), and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE). 

Construction of the project, which is estimated to cost 1.02 billion USD, began in February 2013 and commercial operations were expected to begin this year.–VNA