ATTAPEU, 28th July 2018 – Search and rescue teams are struggling to reach victims of last week’s dam collapse in the Lao PDR’s Attapeu province as heavy downpour continues.

The collapse of the Xepian-Xe Namnoy Dam, a hydroelectric dam under construction in Attapeu province, on July 23rd, led to widespread destruction and the displacement of thousands of people in seven communities. The death toll was confirmed at 27 on Saturday while 131 people remain missing.

Local officers have put up signs on R18 Road to warn vehicles weighing over three tons to use an alternate route for safety reasons. R18 Road stretches over 45 kilometers and has bridges that could be unsafe for large trucks to cross in rainy conditions.

Due to the heavy rain and wind gusts, the delivery of aid to the victims in Attapeu province is slower than expected. It takes about three hours to transport essential items and personnel from the command center in Sanamxay district to the disaster zone.

NTT