>> This baby was saved from surging flood waters by a rescue party on Thursday after a burst dam inundated villages in Laos with a raging torrent. Multiple villages were reportedly caught by surprise when an under construct dam failed in a remote region of southern Laos this week. According to officials on Friday, the death toll stands at no less than 27 people, but more than 100 are still missing.
Reuters Penu Wang Chao has just returned from Laos.>> All that we have seen a large devastation in Attapeu province in Southern Laos where the flood water basically swept away at least seven villages, that are directly at the downstream of the dam. But also, there are several other villages under report that's also been damaged by the flood water.
But the figures, the death toll and number of the missing is very unclear.>> The lack of information about the disaster is partly due to how remote this area is, but it's also because there have been conflicting reports from state media, and the government appears to be limiting access to foreign journalists.
>> Well, Laos is always been a very secretive state, it is very centralized control. It basically have always controlled the way media can report on its soil, and they treat this crisis no different from other matters inside this Southeast Asian nation.>> Laos is one of Asia's poorest and most isolated countries.
It wants to build dams to sell power to its neighbors, billing itself as the battery of Asia. To do it, the government depends almost entirely on outside developers. However, environmental rights groups have warned the pace of construction would come at a human and environmental cost. The dam that collapsed was being built by South Korea's SK.
It blamed the accident on heavy rain during Southeast Asia's monsoon season. The company said, fractures were found in the dam on Sunday and that warnings to the villagers were provided.