SINGAPORE: The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is set to send a team of officers to Laos to help with the disaster relief efforts, including conducting needs and risk assessments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday (Jul 25).
At least 26 people have died and 131 are still missing two days after a hydropower dam collapse swamped several villages in Attapeu Province, Laos.
The SCDF team will be equipped with water purification equipment so that there is clean drinking water for the affected population, said the MFA.
The ministry added that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is prepared to deliver humanitarian supplies and equipment, including tents, meal rations, bottled water, medical supplies and rubber dinghies, to help the relief efforts.
"The SAF also stands ready to deploy a team from the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre to support the Lao People's Army's relief efforts on the ground," the ministry said.
The Singapore Government will donate US$100,000 to kick-start the public fundraising appeal by the Singapore Red Cross (SRC).
Earlier on Wednesday, the SRC launched a public appeal for donations and pledged S$50,000 in humanitarian aid.
The 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.
MFA also said that President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan have written letters to their counterparts to express their condolences.
"As a close friend and fellow ASEAN Member state, Singapore stands by Laos during this difficult time," said the ministry.
Editor's note: This story has been clarified to reflect that the SCDF "is set to" help in disaster relief efforts. We apologise for the error.