SCDF search-and-rescue team lands safely in Laos, preparing for search operations

The search-and-rescue contingent from the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived at Pakse International Airport in Laos at 11am, on Aug 3, 2018.
The search-and-rescue contingent from the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived at Pakse International Airport in Laos at 11am, on Aug 3, 2018. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

SINGAPORE - The 17-member search-and-rescue contingent from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has arrived in Laos and has conducted an aerial recce mission to assess the area of operations.

The Singapore team arrived at Pakse International Airport at 11am on Friday (Aug 3) and was received by Singapore's Ambassador to Laos, Mr Dominic Goh, and Laos government representatives, according to SCDF.

Among the equipment unloaded from the two Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft were a Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) Recce Vehicle and a utility vehicle.

On Friday, the contingent travelled from Pakse to Sanamxay District in Attapeu Province to linkup with local authorities managing the disaster relief efforts.

A video posted on the SCDF Facebook page on Sunday morning (Aug 5) showed team leader Major Seloterio Euan Izmal conducting an aerial recce mission with assistance from the Laos Air Force.

Operation Lionheart will help flood relief efforts in the Attapeu province, which was devastated after the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower dam collapsed on July 23.

At least 27 are dead, with hundreds missing and another 6,600 people displaced. The flood has also affected nearby countries such as Cambodia, which reportedly evacuated some 25,000 people.

The contingent consists of Major Euan, nine officers from Dart, four fire-and-rescue specialists, two operations officers, a paramedic and a technical support officer.

This is the contingent's 18th overseas deployment since 1990. The contingent is always on 24-hour standby to provide humanitarian assistance and support to countries affected by natural disasters.