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Lao government approves compensation policy for dam burst victims

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Staff Writer | August 2, 2018
People affected by widespread flooding in southern Laos look set to receive full compensation as the government has determined that the flood was not a natural disaster, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
Laos dam burst
Asia   Six villages were almost submerged by the muddy flood
Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures to assist the victims of the devastating flood, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone said the disaster was not caused by natural events so the compensation package should be more than was usually awarded.

"The flood was caused by a fracture in the dam," he told a meeting of the National Ad Hoc Committee which is in charge of dealing with the aftermath of the disaster.

Ministry representatives, who are members of the committee, attended the meeting, which was chaired by Sonexay.

Office Head of the Ministry of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo, who was present at the meeting, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that the meeting agreed in principle that the compensation package should be different from that normally awarded to the victims of natural disasters.

On July 23, a saddle dam of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric power project, invested by South Korean, Thai and Lao companies, burst, unleashing 5 billion cubic meters of water from the mountain to 13 villages of Sanamxay district downstream the Xe Pian River, some 560 km southeast of Vientiane.

Six villages were almost submerged by the muddy flood, with 13,000 villagers being affected. Till Monday, 11 people have been confirmed dead, 120 others remain missing in the accident.