15:00 GMT26 January 2020
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    More than forty people died after a dam collapsed in Laos, sweeping several houses and causing damage, volunteers reported on social media.

    A group of volunteers which rounds up support for victims of the floods caused by the dam collapse reported that more than 40 people died and 200 are still missing.

    The dam was reportedly slated to start energy supplies in 2019, providing almost all the energy produced to neighboring Thailand. The Xe-Pian-Xe-Namnoy Power Company reported that heavy rain and flooding caused the collapse of the dam, which was under construction since 2013.

    Up to five billion cubic meters of water was reportedly released to the river system after the hydropower dam collapse on Monday.

    The authorities have not released yet any official information on the number of victims, however, local media reports emerged on Tuesday stating that as a result of the floods several people were killed and hundreds of others are missing.

    The Laos News Agency reported on Tuesday that the disaster had left over 6,600 people homeless.

    Authorities of the Attapeu province have called on the government, business community, police and Defense Ministry to provide the affected areas with emergency aid, including clothes, food, drinking water, medicine, cash and other goods.

    Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has postponed government meetings and headed for the flooded areas to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

    Causes of the incident remain unknown.


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