The mountain road leading up to the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple was blocked on Saturday afternoon by a huge boulder that rolled down the mountainside, authorities said yesterday.
Chea Kimseng, governor of Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district, said the rock tumbled loose after prolonged rains, adding that no one was injured at the popular tourist destination.
“It was a natural cause. It is hard to prevent. Weather prediction authorities said it would rain from [October] 9 to 12, but here it has rained since the 7th. So, the rock fell because of rain,” he said.
“It fell off the mountain at about [1:30pm], but it did not crash into any travellers,” he added. “The size of the rock is about 3 metres wide, just enough to fit the size of the street. The cars and buses haven’t been able to travel to the point that we call 5 Makara since [Saturday], but people can cross it on foot.”
Kimseng said authorities had dispatched a crane and bulldozers in the morning to remove the boulder but had not received any word on their progress as of yesterday afternoon.
However, Srey Doek, the military commander in charge of the forces stationed at Preah Vihear, said that the rock had been lifted out of the street at about 2pm.