No Vietnamese citizens harmed in dam incident in Laos hinh anh 1A house submerged after the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed in Attapeu province, Laos, on July 23. (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – All Vietnamese citizens residing in areas affected by the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Laos are unharmed, Vo Van Mung, Chairman of the Association of Overseas Vietnamese in Attapeu province, said quoting a report by local authorities.

The hydropower dam burst at 8:00pm on July 23, causing flash floods in 10 low-lying villages and completely isolating Sanamxay district.

Mung said his association called on Vietnamese expatriates in Attapeu province to aid the displaced residents of the submerged villages.

He added that the association has so far raised nearly 50 million VND (over 2,100 USD) for the victims.

Food aid has so far reached victims by helicopter. The only path to these villages is completely inaccessible at the moment as it is crosses 46 individual streams, with water levels still dangerously high. In the morning of July 25, local authorities began to build a temporary bridge on the path to facilitate food supply efforts.

According to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Laos, the Mekong River Commission said their statistical analysis showed that the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower dam will not affect Vietnamese territory.

The hydropower plant, which has a capacity of 410MW, is being constructed by the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Power Company (PNPC) – a joint venture between SK E&C, Korea Western Power, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, and Lao Holding State Enterprise.

Estimated to cost 1.02 billion USD, it is the first build-operate-transfer (BOT) project to be undertaken by Korean companies in Laos.

On July 24, Thailand’s Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Pcl., issued a press release announcing that unexpected heavy rains caused the dam to collapse. High volumes of rainwater fractured the dam and caused a deluge in the downstream area of Xe-Pian River, it said.-VNA