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Laos Dam Collapse Leaves Several Dead

Laos Dam Collapse Leaves Several DeadLaos Dam Collapse Leaves Several Dead

State media in Laos said several people were dead and hundreds missing after a dam wall collapsed late on Monday in the country’s south, sending millions of tons of water into surrounding villages. The Xenamnoy dam in Attapeu province, 550 kilometers south of the capital Vientiane, was reportedly built to hold 1 billion tons of water, and is 1.6 kilometers wide, reported ABC. A volunteer emergency organization, Vientiane Rescue, said the dam wall broke Monday night after heavy monsoonal rains. Reports on one media site said millions of tons of water had inundated surrounding land, washing away villages and homes. Earlier, the Xepian Xenamnoy company had warned the dam was dangerously unsafe because of overflows from the recent rains, and said it was planning to release 5,000 million liters of water. It urged residents to evacuate low-lying areas immediately. It is unclear whether the ensuing floodwater was deliberately released or caused by the wall’s collapse. Vientiane Rescue said it was too early to know how many people have died in villages downstream from the dam.

 

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