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Singapore Red cross pledges $50,000 in aid after Laos dam collapse

Staff Writer |
The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) announced that it will pledge 50,000 dollars in humanitarian aid after a hydropower dam collapse in Attapeu, southeast Laos.

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At least 28 people were killed, more than 100 people were missing, including 50 from the village of Ban Mai, and another 6,600 were homeless after the collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam dam in the San Sai district on Monday and the flash floods affected six villages, according to the Laotian News Agency.

The SRC in a statement also launched a call for donations to fund the purchase and distribution of first aid items and blankets as part of disaster recovery efforts.

It also announced the sending tomorrow of an advance team of three volunteers to deliver supplies to some 1,000 families and to assess the most urgent needs there.

Benjamin William, secretary general and director general of the Red Cross in that city state, said the continued rains and strong winds forecast for the next few days will make it difficult for the survivors.

William added that the first priority is to support the homeless while continuing to monitor the affected areas with the Lao Red Cross.

The SRC's announcement comes after Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announced Tuesday on Facebook that she was communicating with her counterpart in Vientiane, Saleumxay Kommasith, to send her condolences for the deaths and to offer assistance and support.

So far, no Singaporean citizens have been affected by the floods.

Heavy and prolonged rains in recent days caused the collapse of the Laotian dam, whose construction began in 2013 and whose full operation was scheduled for next year.

The 1.2 billion dollars project is part of the country's plan to become the 'battery of Asia' by selling energy to its neighbors through a series of hydroelectric dams.

In parallel, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith postponed government meetings and travelled to the affected region with other senior officials to oversee aid efforts.

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