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Monday, June 17, 2024

Chao Phraya River Embankment Collapses in Nonthaburi

A section of the Chao Phraya River embankment in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district collapsed on June 9, 2024, causing concern among local residents and government officials. The incident occurred at approximately 5:40 p.m., leaving a 75-meter stretch littered with concrete debris and exposed rebar. Phra Khru Nontakun Phiphat, the head monk of Wat Choeng Lane temple, promptly reported the collapse to local authorities at 6:40 p.m.

The affected embankment was part of a construction project initiated in 2014 aimed at preventing riverbank erosion. However, delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the project’s completion from its original target of February 2023. The embankment structure includes a concrete edge that is 3.15 meters wide and 1.2 meters tall, supported by piles extending 21 meters into the ground.

Investigators found piles of soil on the riverbank, likely brought in by water currents, and a digger at the site, indicating it may have been used for recent landscaping efforts. Phra Khru Nontakun Phiphat emphasized the need for a stronger embankment to prevent future incidents, expressing hope that the new embankment planned by the Royal Irrigation Department will be more robust.

Preliminary studies suggest that fluctuating water levels and a soil-filled structure may have put undue stress on the embankment, leading to its collapse. Authorities have called for an expert evaluation to determine the exact cause of the failure.

This incident follows a similar collapse along another section of the Chao Phraya River embankment on May 12, 2024. That collapse spanned 70 meters and raised similar concerns among the local population, prompting officials to conduct thorough inspections along the river.

The meeting to discuss the incident was attended by several local officials and representatives, including engineers and construction experts. Their goal is to ensure a swift and effective response to both prevent future collapses and reassure the affected communities.

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