MANILA, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines said Wednesday that it stands ready to extend assistance to Laos after an under-construction dam collapsed in the southern province of the landlocked country, flooding villages and killing at least 26.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement that "our thoughts are with the government and people of Laos as they cope with this tragedy" and the Philippines was ready to extend assistance to its Southeast Asian neighbor in the wake of the disaster through whatever way it can if requested.
"We hope and pray for the safe recovery of the many who were reported missing," Cayetano said.
The Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed on Monday, triggering flash flood in seven villages of Sanamxay district, in Lao's southern Attapeu province.
The Lao New Agency said on Wednesday that 26 people were confirmed dead and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said some 131 people were still missing.
According to the Vientiane Times, some 6,000 people of 1,500 families in the villages were affected by the flooding and about 2,851 people had been rescued till Wednesday morning.