by Zhang Jianhua, Wang Shan
ATTAPEU, Laos, July 26 (Xinhua) -- On the way to southern Laos' Attapeu province hit by a flash flood triggered by Monday's hydroelectric dam collapse, Xinhua reporter received a call from Hu Yong, secretary of the party working committee of the China Railway No.5 Engineering Group.
Hu, working with his colleagues on the construction of China-Laos railway in northern Laos, was rushing on Wednesday to deliver relief food and equipment collected from his company to the disaster site.
Unfamiliar with local conditions, he was asking Xinhua reporter for the shortest route so as to bring the aid to the disaster-stricken area in the least time possible.
"Please feel free to contact me if anybody has inconvenience to send disaster relief materials to Attapeu. As a Chinese company in Laos, we are willing to help," said Zhang Xinlu, general manager of Laos Global Insurance Company based in southern Laos.
Reports from the Lao New Agency said on Wednesday that 26 people were confirmed dead, while Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said some 131 people were still missing after the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy dam collapsed, triggering flash flood.
The Lao government has designated the areas affected as a national emergency area.
Amid the deadly disaster, Chinese people in Laos are ready to help.
"Taking advantage of the outlets coverage in southern Laos, we have arranged a truck, transporting instant noodle and other disaster relief materials to Attapeu," said Ma Xu, general manager of Lao-China Hongta Good Luck Tobacco Company.
"Our company has started raising money and contacting the local government to help the victims in a timely and effective manner," said Ma.
As the largest Chinese company in Laos, Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) immediately sent staff in project sites closest to the flood-hit zone to deliver the relief materials to the scene.
"The Chinese Embassy in Laos asked all Chinese companies here to conduct safety investigations immediately and to provide assistance to the disaster-stricken areas after the dam collapse," Shen Yi, director of PowerChina's disaster relief team and a manager of its representative office in Laos, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"Operating for more than two decades here, PowerChina should do our best to help the Lao people go through the difficulties and provide the most effective help and services to the affected villagers," Shen said.
"Our staff near the disaster-stricken area have been dispatched to the scene on Tuesday, together with a large number of materials, to ensure the basic living of the affected locals," said Shen.
"Rescue machinery and equipment at the project sites are also on standby, ready to carry out emergency repairs on roads and bridges damaged by floodwater. Besides, we set up several rescue spots for distributing relief supplies," said the director.
At the same time, PowerChina also organized dam and hydrological experts to provide on-site assistance and support to the Lao government.
On Wednesday, Chen Jianjun, safety director of the Nam Kong hydropower project in Attapeu, drove more than 100 km to the disaster area to deliver relief materials.
"This is what we should do. How can we just watch and do nothing when such a disaster occurred?" he told Xinhua.
Lu Zhenzhen, who came from China to Laos two years ago to start her own food and beverage business in Vientiane, decided to drive to the disaster-stricken area, carrying tent and food raised among Chinese shop owners in Laos.
"I am living here, building my future here. I need to offer my help in face of this disaster," she said.
She told Xinhua that she hopes every Chinese in Laos will join hands and help the affected Lao people to go through the difficulties.