Environmental damage continues months after Laos dam collapse
IN July, a hydroelectric dam collapse in Laos released five billion cubic meters of water into surrounding countryside – the equivalent of two million Olympic swimming pools. The resulting flood killed dozens, devastated communities, forced thousands to flee and ripped through areas of protected rainforest. The catastrophe made headlines globally; initial reactions focused, understandably, on the impact of local communities, but what is yet to be reported is the lasting, detrimental effects on the region’s forests. The catastrophe primarily affected the southern province of Attapeu, an area bordered by Cambodia to the south and separated from Vietnam by the Annamite mountain range. Visiting the area now is challenging to say the least. SEE ALSO: Was climate change a factor in the Laos dam disaster? Many areas remain off limits; all access to the ruptured Xepian-Xe Nam Noy dam, which is estimated to be worth about US$1 billion, has been closed off by the Laos military to everyone except government officials or engineering experts since this summer’s disaster. Meanwhile, in the neighboring villages of Yai Thae, Hinlad, Mai, Thasengchan, Tha Hin and Samong, in which the force of the flood swept away thousands of homes, a military presence remains. News reports from the area have been few and far between since the tragedy. Trees killed by the flood line the riverbanks. Source: Chris Humphrey/Mongabay Eventually, it became apparent that whole swathes of forest have been uprooted, the river’s shoreline expanded. Undergrowth, tangled branches, and the roots of downed trees litter the ground for miles. Some, their bark stripped by the force of the flood, resembled pale statues overlooking the wreckage along the river’s shoreline. This area is not alone. In early September, the Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) Lab at the University of Maryland began detecting tree cover loss along a 22-mile... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Environmental damage continues months after Laos dam collapse, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: ASIAN CORRESPONDENT - Sunday, 30 December
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