Was climate change a factor in the Laos dam disaster?
TWO WEEKS after a dam in the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower facility collapsed in southern Laos, sending millions of tonnes of water crashing through villages downstream, authorities are still counting the dead. The official death toll is at least 31, but at least 130 people remain unaccounted for, which could push the final figure much higher. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors, while thousands of villagers reside in emergency shelters, not knowing if they will ever be able to return to their homes now submerged in floodwaters. Authorities are now looking into why the dam burst. The initial scrutiny is focused on the dam’s structural integrity. SEE ALSO: That sinking feeling: Bangkok’s fight to stay above water Laotian Energy and Mines Minister Khammany Inthirath echoed a chorus of observers when he blamed the accident on the project developers: two companies from South Korea, and one each from Laos and Thailand. “I am fairly certain that the construction technique for the dam was poor, which led to a collapse during heavy rainfall,” he said. Picture shows a man riding a tri-shaw along a flooded road in Yangon, Burma, on Aug 2, 2018. Monsoon rains have been pummelling the Mekong region in recent days. Source: Ye Aung Thu/AFP In early July, “historic” rainfall in Japan caused massive flooding and landslides, killing at least 155 people and displacing hundreds of thousands more. When it comes to Laos itself, though, the question of changing rainfall patterns is a little less clear. This is due to gaps in the data from observation stations in the country, according to Colin Kelley, senior research fellow with the Washington, DC-based Center for Climate and Security. “The problem with Laos is that we don’t have great observation tape, or [there is a] gap in the observation records for some of the observation stations that... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Was climate change a factor in the Laos dam disaster?, 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 - Wednesday, 8 August, 2018
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