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Kampong Cham town riverbank collapses

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

Kampong Cham town riverbank collapses

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 authority 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 fell through,” he said.

Mao Hak, the deputy director-general of technical affairs at the Ministry 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.

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