Singapore offers aid, supplies to areas affected by Laos dam collapse

Singapore offers aid, supplies to areas affected by Laos dam collapse

Laos dam collapse 2
Villagers take refuge on a rooftop above flood waters from a collapsed dam in the Attapeu district of southeastern Laos, Tuesday (Jul 24). (Photo: AP via Attapeu Today) 

SINGAPORE: Singapore has offered to provide aid and immediate supplies to assist with flood relief efforts in the areas affected by a collapsed dam in Laos, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday (Jul 24).

"The Singapore Government is saddened to learn of the loss of lives and the destruction of homes caused by the collapse of the dam in Attapeu province in Laos on Monday, July 23 2018," said MFA in the press release. 

"Our deepest sympathies are with those who are affected." 

MFA added that the Singapore Embassy in Vientiane has not received reports of any Singaporeans affected by the floods. 

It added that Singaporeans who require consular assistance can contact the Singapore Embassy in Vientiane at +856 21 353939 or the MFA Duty Office (24-hours) at +65 6379 8800. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening that he was "deeply saddened to learn of the collapse". 

"We don't know yet the full extent of the damage, but hundreds are missing and thousands more homeless, plus an unknown number of fatalities.

"Our deepest sympathies to all affected by this tragedy. We have contacted the Laotians to offer assistance, and to let them know that Singapore stands ready to help in whatever way we can," he said. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also took to Facebook, saying that he has reached out to Laos Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith to offer "assistance and support during this challenging time". 

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives and devastation caused by the collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy" dam," read another Facebook post by President Halimah Yacob. 

"On behalf of the people of Singapore, I convey our heartfelt condolences to the people of the Lao PDR. 

"Singapore stands ready to offer our assistance in the relief effort of this unfortunate incident. Our thoughts are with the Lao PDR and its people during this difficult time," she said. 

​​​​​​​Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number feared dead after a partially built hydropower dam in southeast Laos collapsed after heavy rain.

The accident happened in southeastern Attapeu province late Monday, releasing five billion cubic metres of water - more than two million Olympic swimming pools. 

Source: CNA/ad(aj)