SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) on Wednesday (Jul 25) launched a public appeal for donations and said it would pledge S$50,000 in humanitarian aid, after a hydropower dam collapsed in Laos.
Nineteen people have died and more than 3,000 need to be rescued according to local media, after a wall of water unleashed on Monday swept away homes and left an unknown number of people missing.
Donations will fund the purchase and distribution of relief items including first aid supplies, blankets and mats for survivors, as well as other disaster relief and recovery efforts, said the Singapore Red Cross in its press release.
Calling the consequences of the collapsed dam "dire", the organisation said it is also working closely with the Lao Red Cross Society to dispatch a three-person advance team made up of experienced volunteers on Thursday.
The team will deliver relief supplies to an estimated 1,000 families and conduct ground assessments to determine urgent and mid-term needs.
“With continued rain and strong winds predicted for the next few days, there is much uncertainty surrounding the situation at this point," said Mr Benjamin William, the secretary-general and CEO of Singapore Red Cross. "We are deeply concerned for the survivors, and plans are already in motion for SRC to provide immediate response."
"Our first priority is to address the urgent needs and to provide support to the homeless," he said, adding that the organisation would continue to monitor the situation closely and work with its partners to "render appropriate aid in this challenging time".
The appeal comes after the Singapore Government announced on Tuesday that it has offered to provide aid and immediate supplies to assist with flood relief efforts in affected areas.
Donations to the Singapore Red Cross can be made at Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm.
Online donations via POSB/DBS Internet banking and PayLah! will also be available in the later part of next week, according to the organisation.