Dam it all! Khon Kaen’s concrete defence crumbles

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A concrete-reinforced dam in Khon Kaen, in place for over 18 years, has broken due to water erosion from a large reservoir, creating a 20-metre gap. Officials are now rushing to repair the breach to prevent further damage.

The dam, located in Ban Loeng, Khon Kaen, was built in 2006 and has been maintained by the local administration. The recent surge of water from the Nong Loeng Yai Reservoir caused the concrete structure to erode, leading to a significant breach. The incident prompted immediate action from local officials to assess the damage and devise a repair plan.

The breach, measuring approximately 20 metres wide, allowed a massive flow of water to cascade through the dam, causing earth and concrete walls to collapse. This led to extensive field inspections by local authorities, including Mueang Khon Kaen District Chief Chinakorn Kaenkong and head of the local disaster prevention office Tanak Sak Roypha, with military officials from Sri Patcharin Camp.

“The Huai Sai Bat Dam, constructed by the Royal Irrigation Department, has been maintained by the Khok Si Subdistrict Administrative Organisation. Due to its prolonged use, the dam’s structure has deteriorated, leading to this significant breach.”

The immediate plan involves slowing down the water flow from Nong Loeng Yai to prevent further damage to the Lum Phong stream. This is crucial as the stream’s water is essential for the daily needs of the local population. Efforts are being made to source large sandbags from private sectors to temporarily block the water flow. If sandbags are insufficient, gabion boxes will be used to seal the breach. Officers from the 23rd Military Circle at Sri Patcharin Camp, along with volunteers, have been mobilised to assist in the effort.

Sealing the breach

Officials are optimistic that with all resources and manpower available, the breach can be sealed by tonight. However, even with the breach, local homes and agricultural areas remain unaffected because the water from the dam flows into Lum Phong, which currently can handle the increased volume.

The primary concern remains the residents around Nong Loeng Yai, who rely on the water for their daily needs. The local administration is working tirelessly to ensure that the disruption is minimal and that the water supply for consumption and usage is restored promptly, reported KhaoSod.

“We are coordinating with the private sector for large sandbags and, if necessary, gabion boxes to close the gap in the dam. We are confident that with the military’s support and our equipment, we can manage this situation effectively.”

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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