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Big crack at Wat Arun

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Culture Ministry officials were alarmed yesterday when a crack appeared close to the famous temple, but they say now repairs have been successful. 

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Culture Ministry officials check repairs to the ground near the main pagoda at Wat Arun. A crack appeared close to the temple when the Chao Phraya River overflowed. CHANAT KATANYU

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Wat Arun declared safe as repairs conclude

Lamphai Intathep  

The crack in the ground near the main pagoda at Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) has been fixed and does not pose a threat to the ancient structure, Culture Minister Sukumol Khunploem said yesterday.

A crack about 1 metre long and 30 centimetres deep was reported at the temple yesterday. After an inspection, the Fine Arts Department found the cause to be land subsidence brought about by heavy rainfall and the Chao Phraya overflowing.

"The soil had become saturated and some was washed away with the underground water, resulting in the land sinking," Mrs Sukumol said.

An earlier attempt to build a metre-high barrier to protect the temple from being flooded, which required trucks with heavy loads to cross the temple's grounds, made the subsidence worse.

To fill the crack, a mixture of sand and concrete was poured in. The area was then covered with sand and concrete blocks. The repair work finished yesterday.

Mrs Sukumol assured that the land subsidence will not affect the foundation of the main pagoda as it occurred about 10 metres from the structure.

However, the crack was not the only threat to the 150-year-old pagoda, which is one of the country's main tourist destinations. According to the culture minister, the pagoda may survive the land subsidence but it is under an increasing threat from humidity.

Some parts of the pagoda, especially the facade that is in shade, are seriously threatened by fungal growth.

"Without a quick and proper cure, the pagoda's surface will crack and peel off," Mrs Sukumol said.

The ministry has allocated a budget of 5.4 million baht to restore the whole temple.

Tharapong Srisuchart, director of the Fine Arts Department's Archaeology Office, said there was no known method to prevent fungus in historical sites because old structures such as pagodas were built with ancient techniques. However, the office will remove the fungus regularly every 5-6 years.

repairs – the process of fixing something that is broken or damaged การซ่อมบำรุง
pagoda – a temple in S or E Asia in the form of a tall tower with several levels เจดีย์
crack – a line on a surface where something is beginning to break apart รอยแตก  รอยร้าว
overflow – (of a river or body of water)  to flood the land next to it เอ่อล้น, ไหลล้น
declare – to announce officially that something is true or happening ประกาศ ยืนยัน
conclude – to finish; to complete an official agreement or task, or arrange a business deal  จบ
dawn – the beginning of the day, when it begins to get light รุ่งอรุณ, เช้าตรู่
pose a threat – to be a possible danger กระทำการซึ่งอาจก่อให้เกิดอันตรายต่อ
ancient – very old ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
structure – something large such as a building or a bridge that is built from different parts โครงสร้าง
inspection – the act of looking closely at something or someone and to check that everything is as it should be; examination การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
subsidence – the process by which an area of land sinks to a lower level than normal, or by which a building sinks into the ground การทรุดตัวลง
soil – the substance on the surface of the Earth in which plants grow ดิน
saturate – to make something completely wet ทำให้ชุ่มไปด้วยน้ำ
sink– to (cause something or someone to) go down below the surface or to the bottom of a liquid or soft substance จม
barrier – a wall, pile of sandbags, etc., that prevents water from entering สิ่งกีดขวาง
mixture – a combination of different things การผสม
assure – to tell something that something is true or will definitely happen ให้ความมั่นใจ, ยืนยัน
foundation – the part of a structure of a building that is below the ground and supports the rest of it รากฐาน
destination – the place where someone or something is going  จุดหมายปลายทาง
survive – to continue to exist รอดพ้น
humidity – the amount of water that is present in the air ความชุ่มชื้น
façade – the front of a building, especially one that is large or impressive ด้านหน้าของตึกที่แสดงรายละเอียดของสถาปัตยกรรม, ส่วนหน้าของอาคาร
shade – an area that is dark and cool under or behind something, for example a tree or building, because the sun's light does not get to it ร่ม
fungus (adjective form: fungal) – any plant without leaves, flowers or green colouring, usually growing on other plants or on decaying matter เชื้อรา
cure – making someone/something healthy or in condition again การรักษา
surface – the outside or top layer of something  ผิวหน้า, ผิวภายนอก, ด้านนอก
peel off – remove the outer layer of something ลอกออก
allocate – to officially give out an amount of or share of something จัดสรร, แบ่งส่วน
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
restore – to bring back to good condition ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
archaeology – the study of cultures of the past, and of periods of history by examining the remains of buildings and objects found in the ground โบราณคดี
site – a place where something is located  สถานที่
technique – a method of doing something using a special skill that you have developed เทคนิค,  กลวิธี (เฉพาะด้าน)
remove – to take something away เอาออกจาก
regularly – done or happening often, especially with the same time and space in between each activity and the next เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ

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