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Concern over pollution as Yeak Loum Lake’s water changes colour

Sar Socheath / Khmer Times Share:
Yeak Loum Lake in Ratanakiri province has a browish colour unlike its usual blue. Ratanakiri province Department of Information

The water in Yeak Loum Lake, a main northeastern tourism site in Ratanakiri province, has changed its colour.

Yak Piset, a local tourist who had just returned from a holiday in Ratanakiri province last week, said the water in Yeak Loum Lake has changed to a brown colour.

“My family and I stopped at Yeak Loum Lake on Saturday last week. We planned to jump and swim in the lake; however, we cancelled our plan as the water there seemed unusual,” he added.

“When I have been there before with my friends, the water at Yeak Loum Lake was clear and cool. But, when we arrived, it was a little brown, therefore we didn’t swim –  just stopped and left,” he said.

Director of Ratanakiri provincial Environment Department Phon Khemrin said there was a report on this last week.

Officials are observing this phenomenon, he told Khmer Times by phone, but is rejecting any concerns over pollution.

“I think it is a natural phenomenon. There is no pollution. If there is pollution, I think the fish in the lake would die. But, until now, no. Everything is normal,” he said.

“It is not the first time the water in Yeak Loum has changed its colour. However, we have reported this to the Ministry of Environment,” he added.

To check this properly, the ministry will dispatch a team of experts to study this phenomenon soon, he said.

Yeak Loum Lake is a beautiful lake in Ratanakiri province, located 4.8 kilometres from the city of Banlong. It is an attractive site in the province. It is a great place for a swim, picnic or hike around the crater rim of the old volcano. With a tremendous depth of 48 metres, Yeak Loum’s water is usually exceptionally clean and crystal clear. The lake is almost perfectly round and measures around 750 metres in diameter.

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