SINGAPORE: A Singapore contingent of officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) departed for Laos on Thursday afternoon (Jul 26) to assist with flood relief efforts in Attapeu province.
Dozens of people have died and scores are missing days after a hydropower dam collapse unleashed a torrent of water, swamping several villages in the southeastern province.
The dam collapse on Monday released five billion cubic metres of water - enough to fill more than two million Olympic swimming pools.
A Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 aircraft carrying the officers and humanitarian supplies took off from Paya Lebar Air Base at around 4pm.
The team loaded up humanitarian supplies and equipment, including tents, meal rations, bottled water, medical supplies and rubber dinghies for the relief efforts.
The SAF team was made up of officers from the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre.
Singapore officials including 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 all written letters to their Lao counterparts to express their condolences.
In addition, the Government has said it will donate US$100,000 to kickstart a public fundraising appeal by the Singapore Red Cross.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said that SCDF personnel are involved in Thursday's mission. This is incorrect: They will join subsequent relief efforts. We apologise for the error.