>> Days after a dam collapsed in Southern Laos, the scale of the disaster remains unclear. Troops are continuing to search for survivors after the under construction dam collapsed, sending a torrent of water across paddy fields and through villages. State media say at least 26 people have been confirmed dead with more than 130 missing since Monday's disaster.
More than 3,000 people are reportedly still awaiting rescue from the swirling flood waters. The lack of information is partly due to inaccessibility of the area, but also because reports from the state media have been scant and sketchy. On Thursday, the country's Prime Minister was cited as saying only one person had been found dead.
Access to many of the flooded villages is blocked with flash flooding and landslides covering roads. Volunteers say survivors are lacking food, medicine, and coffins to bury the dead. 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.
An SK official said fractures were found on the dam on Sunday, and the company had ordered 12 villages to evacuate when it was clear it could collapse.