Friday July 22, 2022

Radio Free Asia

People living near a leaking dam in central Laos remained fearful Wednesday, five days after a video of the leak went viral, despite assurances from the government that it is structurally safe and will be fixed in weeks, sources in the country told RFA.

Video of the apparent leak at the Nam Theun 1 Dam in the central province of  Bolikhamxay was shared on Facebook on Saturday, a week before the fourth anniversary of the Southeast Asian country’s worst ever dam collapse that killed more than 70 people.

Authorities told RFA on Monday that  the video depicted only “seepage” that would have no effect on operations or safety at the hydroelectric dam on a Mekong River tributary.

On Wednesday, however, the government put out a statement saying that the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines had found two small leaks during an inspection last month, and a second inspection on Sunday after the video circulated determined that the leaks were still the same size.

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