Chao Phraya River embankment collapse causes waves of concern

Image courtesy of Khaosod

A section of Chao Phraya River embankment collapsed causing significant concern among locals and governmental officials in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district. The embankment collapsed at approximately 5.40pm yesterday, June 9, leaving concrete rubble and exposed rebar stretching 75 metres.

This incident was reported to the subdistrict administrative organisation by Phra Khru Nontakun Phiphat, the abbot of Wat Choeng Lane, a temple located by the river, at 6.40pm.

The collapsed embankment was part of a construction project aimed at preventing erosion along the riverbanks.

This project, spanning 2 kilometres from Wat Saeng Siritham to Wat Choeng Lane, started in 2014 and was initially scheduled for completion by February 2023.

However, the project faced multiple delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to extensions in the construction timeline.

The cement embankment, including the concrete edge measures 3.15 metres in width, and stands 1.2 metres high from its base, with piles extending 21 metres deep.

Large mounds of soil were also found piled up along the riverbank, likely deposited by the water. An excavator was observed at the site, possibly involved in landscaping activities inside the embankment area.

The abbot Phra Khru Nontakun Phiphat expressed his concerns, stating that despite the reasonings behind the collapse, the embankment must be stronger.

With the collapse raising concerns about safety along the Chao Phraya River, the abbot hopes that whichever embankment the Royal Irrigation Department is planning to build will ultimately be stronger than the current one.

Initial assessments suggest that the collapse may have been caused by fluctuating water levels, which put undue stress on the embankment, coupled with soil being filled inside the structure. Authorities have called for further examination by experts to determine the exact cause of the failure, reported Khaosod.

Similarly, another section of the Chao Phraya River embankment collapsed last month, May 12. Extending over 70 metres in length, locals were equally alarmed and authorities were prompted to conduct necessary inspections along the river.

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