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Apsara Authority has moved to reassure the public that water in the Tonle Oum River in Siem Reap is safe after an algal bloom. Photo supplied
Apsara Authority has moved to reassure the public that water in the Tonle Oum River in Siem Reap is safe after an algal bloom. Photo supplied

Algae at Angkor a ‘normal thing’

The Apsara Authority has turned to Facebook to allay fears surrounding the sudden emergence of blue-green algae in the waters around the Angkor Thom historical site that have sparked concerns about the possibility of pollution.

In a video posted on Wednesday, officials said the algal bloom in the water of the Tonle Oum River was a naturally occurring effect.

“It is a normal thing, please do not worry. When the weather is hot and the water level drops and becomes stagnant, some algae will come. There is no pollution,” deputy chief of the park management body’s water team Pheun Sokhim said in the video, adding that no fish had died.

He went on to say the authority will be cleaning the river and filling it with new water this week, but added the process might experience delays as priority is being given to filling the Siem Reap pond and Baray Teuk Thla, both of which have experienced water shortages this year.

That can’t come fast enough for Khieu Thy, director of the Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association.

“Until now, the water seems to still have algae. It is not a good look,” he said yesterday. “We are worried about the environment around Angkor.”

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