August 07, 2018

Sanamxay flood death toll now at 34

Original Title:  Three injured people die, bringing Sanamxay flood death toll to 34
By:  Souksakhone Vaenkeo, Vientiane Times, August 7, 2018

VIENTIANE - Three people who were seriously injured when a flash flood hit Sanamxay district, Attapeu province, have died in hospital, bringing the death toll from the disaster to 34 as of August 5.

One person died in Sanamxay district hospital and two others died in Attapeu provincial hospital, the National Ad Hoc Committee in charge of dealing with the aftermath of the disaster reported. Some 100 people are still missing following the flood, which inundated villages in the district on July 23 after the collapse of one of five auxiliary dams at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower project.

In total, 13 villages that were home to 13,067 people were affected, of which six villages housing 7,095 people were wiped out.

More than 7,000 displaced people are now being accommodated at five temporary centres allocated for the purpose, including five schools.

The committee said the most urgent need was for food, including dried and instant goods and rice, along with drinking water and clean water for daily use, cooking equipment, tents and other essential items.

Urgent work must be carried out in the coming days to set up more tents to ease the burden on crowded shelters, build more bathrooms and toilets, and bore more artesian wells to provide access to clean water.

The committee, with assistance from various sectors and foreign rescue teams, pledged to speed up the search and rescue mission to find the remaining missing people.

Thirteen schools were damaged in the disaster – the most severe to strike Laos in decades. Some 2,286 hectares of rice fields have been affected, according to the committee. 

Almost 10,000 cattle perished along with more than 300 goats, almost 2,000 pigs and close to 20,000 poultry, while 280 fishponds were damaged.

Eight irrigation systems and 41.9 hectares of industrial tree plantations were also destroyed. Various sectors, friendly countries and international organisations have extended invaluable support and assistance to the relief, search and rescue effort. As of August 5, donations given to Laos through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for flood relief in 2018 amounted to more than 14 billion kip, over 16.6 million Thai baht, almost US$2 million, and 100 million Vietnamese dong.

Additionally, donations given to Attapeu provincial authorities have reached more than 26.2 billion kip in cash and more than 51 billion kip in kind.

Teams of medical doctors and officials have been stationed at temporary centres to oversee the provision of health checks, nutrition, and hygiene and treatment issues.

Work is being accelerated to repair and improve roads to ease the transport of relief supplies from donation centres to temporary shelter centres, the committee said.

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