via Phnom Penh Post, 01 April 2019: An ongoing drought in Cambodia has raised concerns over the structural integrity of the Angkor monuments, as fears of the moat drying up may destabilise the temples.
A historian has raised fears that the drought currently gripping Cambodia could affect the foundations of the Kingdom’s globally renowned Angkor Wat, while the temple complex’s Apsara Authority management has said that, while it was prepared, it was not expecting such a problem.
Diep Sophal, a professor of history at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said if the water in Angkor Wat’s iconic moat was to dry out to such a degree that the temple’s foundations were exposed, the resulting natural degradation could lead to the building’s structural integrity being compromised.
He also expressed concern that the loss of the moat would discourage tourists from visiting the Unesco World Heritage Site.
A huge (and expensive) project to restore the moat surrounding Angkor Wat looks likely to be delayed because of the global financial crises. The US$7.2 million project was to be jointly conducted by Cambodia, Japan, Italy and Germany.