Fallen Trees, Weather Damage Angkor Temples

Twenty-two trees within the protected areas around the Angkor temples have fallen this month and the inclement weather has damaged some of the ancient buildings.

Angkor Conservation Depart­ment officials in Siem Reap reported that a tree fell on a wall at the Phineanakas Monument within Angkor Thom, knocking a portion of the wall into a nearby pond.

Water erosion is being blamed for a small portion of a wall breaking apart at Banteay Kdei, and there’s concern that the ground beneath the foundation of the famed Bayon Temple is also eroding.

Uong Von, director of the Angkor Conservation Depart­ment, blamed logging between 1979 and 1989 in the nearby forests for the increase in toppled trees near the temples.

“It used to be densely forested, but when a lot of the trees were felled, the remaining trees started falling down in high winds,” Uong Von said.

He expressed concerns the ancient temples were now more exposed to high wind as the trees continue to fall. He said there are no funds to purchase medicine to treat old trees within the Angkor compounds.

The Siem Reap region has escaped for the most part the serious flooding that has plagued the rest of Cambodia. The Siem Reap River briefly overflowed its banks in Siem Reap town last week, but the street flooding was minor and over in little more than a day.


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