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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tree falls on 12th century temple in Cambodia's Angkor complex

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PHNOM PENH, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Heavy rains and high winds had caused a big tree to collapse on the 12th century Preah Khan temple in the Angkor Archeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province, an official confirmed Sunday. "The tree, up to 30 meters high and 0.8 meter in diameter, fell on the body of the temple on Friday when there was a strong rain and wind," Sok Leakna, deputy director general of Apsara Authority, which is in charge of protection and management of the Angkor Archaeological Park, told Xinhua.

"A small portion of the temple broke apart and fell down, but there was no crack or serious damage to the whole body of the temple," he said.

The fallen tree grew about 10 meters from the temple, he said, adding that experts have been sent to cut the upper stem of the tree as the trunk is still lying on the temple.

Heavy rains and high winds have been blamed for the collapse of about 7 big trees in the Angkor complex these days, but only one tree hit the temple, he said.

Preah Khan temple is located in the Angkor Archeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992.

Keo Vy, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said Sunday that tourism city Siem Reap Angkor has been suffering from flash floods in recent days as the Siem Reap River has been overflowing its banks.

"Hundreds of families have been evacuating for higher grounds," he told Xinhua over phone.

Mekong and flash floods have been hitting fifteen out of the kingdom's 24 cities and provinces in the last three weeks and killed at least 39 people, he said.

Besides death toll, the floods have affected more than 130,000 families and forced over 10,000 families to flee homes for higher grounds.

In addition, some 160,200 hectares of rice paddy have been under water, said Keo Vy.

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