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...
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