Questions over dependable demise toll in the Laos floods – overseas media banned

PHOTO: Thai PBS
In a sign of the times the place social media is solely instantaneous, however usually unreliable, the Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith is warning members of the public to be aware and conscious about news and stories on the lethal flooding in southern Attapeu province. But some worldwide information agencies are claiming that the Laos authorities is attempting to downplay the demise toll in a face-saving PR train (more about that later).
The question on verifiable numbers arises after the Laos government banned most overseas media from the disaster zone. International aid organisations are also questioning the official toll figures being released by the Laos government.
Meanwhile the Laos PM is asking folks to follow news from Lao mainstream media retailers, which purchase data first-hand from officers authorised to provide the information. The premier issued the warning in a press briefing in Vientiane after returning from the flooding in the province. The warnings observe misinformation and pretend information that have been posted online by way of social media after which reported and rebroadcast by some foreign mainstream media outlets.
Photos of extreme disasters which happened elsewhere and a while ago were also posted on social media pages as if they were photos of Attapeu’s flooding.
Since the flash flood, caused by the fracture of Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower reservoir’s saddle dam D, lashed villages in Sanamxay district on Monday night (July 23), reports carried by social media and most overseas mainstream media have exaggerated the death toll and the variety of missing victims.

“So, members of the basic public ought to analyse content material critically and assess its veracity.”
In the press briefing, the Laos PM expressed heartfelt gratitude to all sectors for extending honest help to the rescue operation and relief effort. On behalf of the Lao government and people, he prolonged heartfelt due to governments and peoples of friendly countries and worldwide organisations for sharing sympathy, expressing the intention to and increasing help and assist for the search, rescue and aid effort.
“They have given physical and non secular support to the victims to allow them to return to normal lives as quickly as possible,” PM Thongloun stated.
He called on Lao compatriots within the country and residing abroad to increase help and assist to help tackle and overcome the catastrophe.
“I am assured that the incident [disaster] might be overcome. The situation will return to normalcy quickly,” he stated.
Meanwhile the BBC has questioned the ‘official’ figures issued by the Laos government.
Value say 27 individuals have been killed and 131 persons are lacking – but help agencies believe the country could additionally be downplaying the scale of the catastrophe and the final demise toll could additionally be considerably greater.
Local residents told the BBC that they believed as many as 300 individuals could have misplaced their lives.
Meanwhile as a lot as three,000 persons are reportedly still stranded, their rooftops now islands within the murky floodwater.
Few details of the rescue operation are being launched by the Laotian authorities – but a BBC group managed to gain transient access to the positioning and survivors, despite a ban on foreign media.
Read the rest of the BBC report HERE.
Construction of the $1.2bn Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy energy challenge – a network of two major dams and 5 subsidiary dams – involved Laotian, Thai and South Korean firms.
The dam was 90% full and had been set to start out working commercially next yr. The Laos government is staking lots of its economic future by offering reliable electricity for the region and has dubbed the ‘battery of Asia. Many of the hydroelectric schemes are privately funded by South Korean companies..

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