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Oddar Meanchey dam to be drained to avoid breach

Technical officials inspect excavators stationed at Oddar Meanchey’s Ta Mok reservoir in the event canals need to be dug to prevent flooding
Technical officials inspect excavators stationed at Oddar Meanchey’s Ta Mok reservoir in the event canals need to be dug to prevent flooding. Photo supplied

Oddar Meanchey dam to be drained to avoid breach

Fearing that heavy rains will cause the Ta Mok reservoir in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district to overflow, or its walls to rupture, Water Resources and Meteorology Department officials are preparing to drain the reservoir with canals.

Heavy rains began falling across Oddar Meanchey last Friday and only abated on Wednesday.

Water Resources Ministry spokesman Chan Yutha said yesterday that Water Resources Minister Lem Keanhor ordered technical officials at the Ta Mok reservoir to station excavators along its banks, ready to dig canals and drain the reservoir if waters rise too high.

The reservoir’s dam, said Yutha, has been undergoing repairs since March, and water can only be drained through one of its gates.

“The experts stationed at the [dam] construction site are paying attention and are ready to prevent the impacts [of flooding],” said Yutha. “However, until now, the water in Ta Mok reservoir is climbing up gradually.”

If the reservoir water reaches the “alert point”, he said, the technical team will immediately begin digging canals to drain the reservoir to prevent floods.

“We are willing to lose the construction site temporarily, but we cannot let the houses and infrastructure get flooded,” said Yutha.

According to Yutha, once the dam’s renovations are complete, the reservoir will be able to hold 6 million cubic metres of water, enough to irrigate 873 hectares of rice fields, and 50 hectares of other crops like cassava and red corn.

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