Thousands of residents in northern Cambodia have been displaced following the collapse of a major hydropower dam in Laos.
Some 6,000 residents of Siam Pang district in Stung Treng province were relocated following the catastrophic failure of the Xepian Xe Nam Noy Dam on Monday.
The collapse of the dam released about 5 billion cubic meters of water downstream, flooding four districts in Stung Treng.
The dam collapse has led to more than 27 deaths in Laos, but Men Kong, Stung Treng provincial authority spokesman, said that so far no deaths had been reported in Cambodia.
“People were evacuated as the National Committee of Disaster Management planned. People who were evacuated are from four communes including Santepheap, Thmor Keo, Saysambo, and Sekong commune. About 1,200 families were evacuate to a safe place.”
The dam collapse follows heavy rains across Southeast Asia, which has led to severe flooding in several parts of Cambodia.
Chan Yutha, water resources and meteorology spokesman, said flooding in Stung Treng as a result of the dam collapse reached as high as 12 meters on Thursday, more than half a meter higher than the emergency level.
“Until now, I can tell that we don’t know when the water level will retreat. The floodwater is gradually rising. Therefore, please everyone who lives along the Sekong River to be careful and move to a safe place,” he said, referring to one of the main Mekong River tributaries that runs through Cambodia.
Aid organizations have been assisting the government in relocating villagers, he added.