Dam­aged pago­das cov­ered in quake-hit Ba­gan

The Myanmar Times - - News - MAUNG ZAW maungzaw@mm­times.com

OF­FI­CIALS in Ba­gan are rush­ing to cover pago­das badly dam­aged in last week’s earth­quake be­fore rain can cause fur­ther ero­sion.

“We are ur­gently cov­er­ing the dam­aged pago­das for the re­main­der of the rainy sea­son. We are pri­ori­tis­ing pago­das ac­cord­ing to the scale of the dam­age, though we have found some pago­das that we do not need to worry about be­ing af­fected by the rain,” said U Soe Tint, gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tor of Nyaung-U district.

“We will con­tinue fur­ther main­te­nance af­ter cov­er­ing them with tar­pau­lins,” he added.

Over 30 pago­das have been iden­ti­fied as hav­ing suf­fered the most se­vere dam­age in the 6.8-mag­ni­tude quake on Au­gust 24, in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Py­athat­gyi, Say­ta­nar­gyi, Tayoke Pyay, Htilominlo, Su­la­mani and Bulethi pago­das. In to­tal, 397 pago­das were in some part dam­aged by the tremor, ac­cord­ing to the Ministry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs and Cul­ture.

As a se­cu­rity mea­sure against loot­ing at the dam­aged sites, or un­in­ten­tional fur­ther dis­re­pair caused by tourists, mil­i­tary and po­lice per­son­nel have been de­ployed.

“If they were not there, vis­i­tors might take pieces of the de­bris that has fallen from the pago­das,” said U Soe Myint, a res­i­dent of Nyaung-U.

The Depart­ment of Archaeology, Na­tional Mu­seum and Li­brary has es­ti­mated that re­pair work will take one year to com­plete. As restora­tion gets un­der way, vis­i­tors have been pro­hib­ited from en­ter­ing 33 pago­das and are not al­lowed to climb to the up­per lev­els of those pago­das for sun­rise and sun­set view­ing. To help fund re­pairs, law­mak­ers do­nated a day’s worth of salary on Au­gust 30 and some con­trib­uted ad­di­tional funds. A to­tal K15 mil­lion from the Pyithu Hlut­taw and K4.42 mil­lion from the Amyotha Hlut­taw was raised. – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Pyae Thet Phyo and Swan Ye Htut, trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar, Emoon and Khine Thazin Han

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.