An overview of the Xe Pien-Xe Namnoyd dam in 2015.
Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number believed dead after the collapse of a hydropower dam in southeast Laos, state media reported on Tuesday.
The accident happened at a dam in southeastern Attapeu province late on Monday, releasing five billion cubic metres of water with "several human lives claimed and several hundreds of people missing," Laos News Agency said.
The dam is being built by Xe Pien-Xe Namnoy Power Company, or PNPC.
Officials have brought boats to help evacuate people in San Sai district of Attapeu province in the southeast of the country as water levels rise after the dam collapsed, ABC Laos news reported.
It did not provide further details about the incident.
A video posted by the news network on its Facebook page showed villagers stopping to watch fast-flowing water from the side of a river bank.
Environmental rights groups have for years raised concerns about Laos' hydropower ambitions, including worries over the impact of dams on the Mekong River, its flora and fauna and the rural communities and local economies that depend on it.
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bank : a raised area of land along the side of a river (or canal) - ริมฝั่งแม่น้ำ
dam : a wall built across a river to stop the water from flowing, especially in order to create a lake or to help to produce electric power - เขื่อน
evacuate : to cause to leave a place because it is not safe - เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
fauna : all the animals living in an area - สัตว์ประจำเขตภูมิภาคหนึ่ง
flora : the plants of a particular area, type of environment or period of time - พืชที่ขึ้นในเฉพาะพื้นที่
hydropower : power generated by running water - พลังน้ำ