K Cham town river­bank collapses

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Niem Ch­heng

A SEG­MENT of Kam­pong Cham town’s river­bank, north of Kizuna bridge, has col­lapsed. The lo­cal au­thor­ity is study­ing the cause of the in­ci­dent and has barred peo­ple from pass­ing through that sec­tion of the area.

The prov­ince’s deputy gov­er­nor Keo Nearithy on Thurs­day pre­sumed that the river­bank had col­lapsed nat­u­rally.

“It [might have hap­pened] due to nat­u­ral causes. We haven’t mea­sured the length of the seg­ment that col­lapsed. Sim­i­lar in­ci­dents hap­pened in other ar­eas of the town, namely in Kang Meas, Koh Sotin and Kam­pong Siem dis­tricts,” said Nearithy.

He said no im­me­di­ate ac­tion has been car­ried out as the au­thor­i­ties are still wait­ing for the wa­ter level to sub­side in or­der to fig­ure out the real cause of the col­lapse.

“When the wa­ter level is low, the river­bank usu­ally collapses. There­fore, we have to wait un­til it sub­sides to find out whether the col­lapse was caused by the wa­ter flow un­der­neath the bank or some­thing else,” he said.

He said the cur­rent so­lu­tion is to close the af­fected seg­ment to the pub­lic while the au­thor- ity is seek­ing an­swers. The lo­cal gov­ern­ment will re­quest the bud­get to re­pair the site when the col­lapse stops, he said.

Nearithy said sand dredg­ing had not caused the in­ci­dent, say­ing that “there is no sand dredg­ing in his town”.

Cit­ing a Min­istry of Wa­ter Re­sources and Me­te­o­rol­ogy study, he said Koh Dach, an islet in the mid­dle of the Mekong River, af­fected the flow of wa­ter, re­sult­ing in the col­lapse.

“Ex­perts said Koh Dach blocks the wa­ter­way and di­rected the wa­ter flow straight to Kam­pong Cham town.When the study was pub­lished, an idea to dis­solve the islet was raised but it did not get the en­dorse­ment from the gov­ern­ment, thus the idea f ell through,” he said.

Mao Hak, the deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of tech­ni­cal af­fairs at the Min­istr y of Wa­ter Re­sources and Me­te­o­rol­ogy, in­di­cated that the length of the col­lapsed seg­ment was more than 100 me­tres.

He re­it­er­ated that the in­ci­dent was caused by nat­u­ral causes.

“We can­not say it is at alarm­ing lev­els yet. But we can say it is some­how threat­en­ing,” he said.

SUP­PLIED

A seg­ment of Kam­pong Cham town’s river­bank, more than 100 me­tres long, col­lapsed pre­sum­ably due to nat­u­ral causes.

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