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Pagoda stupas topple amid sliding riverbank

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Two men inspect the toppled stupas at Kdey Ta Koy pagoda after a riverbank collapse in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district. Pha Lina

Pagoda stupas topple amid sliding riverbank

Two stupas toppled at Kdey Ta Koy pagoda as a consequence of a riverbank collapse in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district.

Local authorities said the riverbank collapsed naturally and installed sandbags and filled the land to prevent further deterioration on Sunday.

Chbar Ampov district’s construction officer Buo Vathana told The Post on Sunday that the cause of the toppling of the two Kdey Ta Koy pagoda stupas had not yet been identified.

He indicated that it might have happened due to natural causes.

“The authority is installing sandbags and filling the land to prevent any further deterioration,” said Vathana.

Kdey Ta Koy pagoda committee member Suor Chon said it is difficult to identify the real cause of the stupa’s’ toppling.

He also stated that nothing unusual happened in the area for more than 10 years.

Heavy rains in the last few days, he said, had flowed under the foundation of the stupas and may have contributed to their toppling.

“On October 20, one stupa was tilted [and did not topple]. On October 21, another fell into the river due to the collapse of the riverbank. Each stupa costs nearly $20,000 to build. I did not see any sand-pumping activities near the area,” said Chon.

Veal Sbov commune chief Yun Sophol told The Post that she was not aware of the actual cause of the riverbank’s collapse.

However, after initial assessment by the villagers near the pagoda and experts from Chbar Ampov district, it was learnt that the collapsed area was filled only three years ago, while the two stupas were recently constructed.

Heavy rain fell on October 19, and the stupas toppled the next day, probably due to water routes underneath them.

“The water came from the lake. After the heavy rain, the water flowed underneath the stupa and removed sand and dirt [eventually causing the riverbank to collapse],” said Sophol.

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