50 Meters of Tonle Sap Riverbank Collapses

A 50-meter-long section of the Tonle Sap riverbank collapsed yesterday morning in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district, the third such collapse in the area since 2007, officials said.

The 25-meter-wide deep bank collapse destroyed a wooden house, and vegetable garden but injured no one, district Deputy Governor Kob Slas said.

“This is the third time in Russei Keo district that the river bank collapsed into the Tonle Sap since 2007,” he said.

Hei Beng, general director of the nearby Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, said drainage problems in the city left the soil wet in the area while river levels are low leading to a collapse.

“These are the reasons that we found [for the collapse],” he said. “The bank is steep and the soil is wet.”

He added that sand dredging, which has been blamed for riverbank collapses in the past, was not responsible for yesterday’s incident.

The port is in the process of constructing a 2.7-kilometer concrete embankment in the area. With limited funds the port has only completed 150 meters and will complete another 150 meters this year, Mr Beng said.

“Nowadays we are seeking potential donors to help our project,” he added.

Resident Bun Pheng, 51, said locals saw a crack in the earth Tuesday night warning them of the impending damage.

“Early Wednesday morning the crack was bigger and by 10 am it collapsed deeply,” he said.

Sok Sam Ath, 39, said he owned a 25-by-18 meters stretch of land that is now gone. “It destroyed my vegetable farm,” he said.

 

 

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