Laos seeks donations, medical supplies
Dam victims need stretchers, bandages
The consulate-general of Laos in Khon Kaen appealed Monday for donations of medical supplies, camp beds, kitchen utensils and condiments for flood victims who are suffering in the wake of the collapsed Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam on July 23.
Khamphai Phanthongdee, acting chief of the consulate-general, said people in Laos require portable stretchers, wound-dressing kits and other equipment "urgently". Cambodian villagers who live downstream of the dam have also been affected.
Mr Khamphai said camp beds, mosquito nets, bedclothes and wicker baskets for making sticky rice were still in great demand but enough clothing had been received to meet their needs.
Relief assistance has poured into Laos after the hydroelectric power dam, located on the Xe-Pian and Xe-Namnoy rivers in Champasak and Attapeu provinces, collapsed.
The two tributaries flow into the Sekong River, a major tributary of the Mekong, in Cambodia's Stung Treng province.
The incident resulted in flash floods along the Xe Pian River, affecting thousands of villagers in both provinces.
According to the consulate-general, eight have been confirmed dead with 123 still missing over the July 23-28 period.
Even though water levels have receded in Champasak and Attapeu, most areas were mired in mud and dirt left behind by floodwater. The situation has made rescue operations difficult. Experts said they would likely need more than a month.
Mr Khamphai thanked the Thai people for the donations, saying the deliveries have been fast-tracked to two sorting points in Muang district: the 23rd Military Circle and the Provincial Police Region 4's Training Centre.
In addition to the Chong Mek border checkpoint in Ubon Ratchathani, the donations will be ferried this week to flood-hit areas via the Mukdahan immigration checkpoint, officials said.
On Monday, two trailer trucks loaded with basic necessities departed from Khon Kaen to Attapeu after they stocked up at seven donation points across the province.
Mr Khamphai asked the public to follow up on the flood situation and avoid spreading fake news on social media.
The first tranche of donated money for victims was given to Mr Khamphai.
Sompas Nilapund, deputy permanent secretary of the the Prime Minister's Office, said more than 32 million baht had been donated to a Krungthai bank account set up by the Thai government as of 10am Monday. The account is named Hua Jai Thai Song Pai Sor Por Por Laos (Thais' hearts go to Lao PDR).
People can make pledges via the bank's Government House branch and deposit to account number 0670128864.
Mr Sompas encouraged those members of the public who could spare the time to give basic necessities to flood victims at Government House from 8.30am to 4pm.
Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda urged against donating fresh food, however, as it was likely to spoil before arriving at its destination.