At 20:00 (local time) on Monday, July 23, a hydropower dam that had been under construction collapsed in the Sanamxay district of Attapeu province (south), causing a flash flood that has left 6000 people homeless. Several people have reportedly been killed while hundreds remain missing as of July 24. The collapse was caused by the recent heavy rain and flooding, according to the company building the dam. Evacuations and relief efforts are currently underway.
Laos has experienced heavy rains and flooding since the start of monsoon season, which typically begins in May and lasts through November.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid areas directly hit by flooding, and adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities or their home governments. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded. Be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tend to rise after periods of heavy rains.
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