Staff from the Vietnamese Embassy in Mexico and Vietnamese representative agencies donate money to support Lao people affected by the dam collapse (Photo: VNA)

Mexico City (VNA) –
The Vietnamese Embassy in Mexico held a fund-raising ceremony on August 7 to collect money for Lao people affected by the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam in the southern province of Attapeu.

Speaking at the event, Charge d'affaires of the embassy Doan Anh Tuan highlighted the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.
 
[Vietnam continues aid to victims of Lao dam collapse]

He called on the staff of the embassy and Vietnamese representative agencies to donate money to support the affected people.

At the ceremony, over 8.3 million VND (365 USD) was raised for the targeted people. The money will be transferred to them via relevant agencies.

Earlier, the Vietnamese government granted 200,000 USD as relief aid to local residents hit by the incident. Vietnam’s ministries, sectors and localities also launched activities to assist the victims.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam collapsed on July 23, causing massive floods which submerged 10 villages downstream and completely isolated Sanamxay district.

The incident affected over 1,300 households with 6,600 people. So far, the rescue forces have found the bodies of 31 victims.

At an international press conference held in Vientiane on August 7, Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith said 100 people remain unaccounted for and it would take many years for Laos to address the serious consequences.

Therefore, the Lao government still needs assistance and sharing from other countries and non-governmental organisations, especially in searching and rescuing the missing, restoring and building infrastructure in affected villages, providing food and necessities for the victims, and preparing health equipment, medicines and ambulances, he said.

In the short term, the government will focus on arranging temporary accommodations for more than 6,000 people who were seriously affected by the incident, then resettlement. 

Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath said the government is setting up an investigation committee to coordinate with international organisations to look into the dam collapse.

The committee will examine the quality of nearly 50 hydropower dams which have been completed as well as the design of those under construction, he said, adding that Laos will also establish a water management board to keep track of the volume of water in lakes.

The Lao Government had also decided to halt the signing of new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Project Development Assistance (PDA) contracts on hydropower nationwide to conduct further assessment and revision, he added.-VNA