Saving lives should be priority after dam collapse in Laos

  • The collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe Namnoy
The collapse of the Xe-Pian Xe Namnoy saddle dam in Laos should serve as a valuable lesson so that disaster like this will not be repeated but  for now the priority is to save lives and to prevent another water mass of about 200 million cubic metres from flowing downstream, said Seub Nakhasathian Foundation chairman Sasin Chalermlarp.
“Anyone who can help should help.  This is not the time for finger pointing,” said Sasin, adding that, after the crisis is over, the incident should be reviewed so that the same tragedy will not happen again.
Laos, said Sasin, has many high mountains which are ideal for construction of hydro-electric dams which will bring in foreign investment and development for cash-strapped Laos but, at the same time, they may cause public disasters as was the case of a dam collapse.
He stressed the importance of effective management of dams to ensure they are safe besides electricity generation.
Mr Chainarong Sethchua, an environmental lecturer at Maha Sarakham University, urged Thai stakeholders in the dam project to show their responsibility in helping the victims from this disaster.
If the incident happens in Thailand, this will certainly lead to many lawsuits to demand compensation, said the lecturer.