Transporting food aid to flooded areas in Laos after the dam collapse (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The government of Thailand on July 30 called on all Thai people to donate cash or relief items to survivors of the dam collapse in Attapeu province, southern Laos, which occurred last week.

The country’s Ministry of Interior has instructed all 76 provinces to set up donation centers to receive cash or material donations which will be sent to Attapeu where the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam burst.

The ministry urged people to donate goods of good quality and will not break or damage during the delivery process, saying that the shipments of the donated goods will continue until the flooding situation in Laos improves.

Meanwhile, Thai company Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Pcl, one of the dam constructors, said in a statement that it had given an initial assistance of 1.3 billion LAK (154,000 USD) to Laos.

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) also provided relief for about 3,000 Lao villagers displaced by the disaster. These items included 500 bottles of clean water, 500 survival kits and 2 million THB (59,000 USD) in cash.

On July 25, Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha met with Lao Ambassador Seng Soukhathivong to donate 5 million THB (147,000 USD) for the Lao victims while a total of 1.4 million THB donated by Thai firms and people in Laos has been also sent to the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam collapsed at 8:00pm on July 23, causing massive flooding which completely isolated six villages in Sanamxay district of Attapeu province. 

Some 587 families with 3,060 people were reportedly made homeless, while more than 100 people were still unaccounted for. 

The 410 MW capacity hydropower plant is being constructed by the Sepien-Senamnoi Power Company (PNPC), which is a joint-venture of SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C) and Korea Western Power (KOWEPO) from the Republic of Korea, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH) from Thailand, 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