AUTHORITIES in Bagan have sealed off dangerous areas at 33 quake-damaged ancient pagodas in Bagan, only allowing visitors to visit areas deemed to be safe from falling rubble.
“We did not totally seal off the pagodas, visitors can still go the safe areas.” said U Soe Tint, Nyaung U District General Administration Department.
Police are providing security in and around damaged pagodas along with officials of the General Administration Department and firemen in order to assist the inspectors of the Archaeological Department in evaluation of the damages and in order to protect against any further damage.
The number of pagodas noted as damaged by the powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake has reached 187, according to local authorities.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko pledged that the government would restore the damaged pagodas giving priority to the most popularly visited.
The pagodas will be inspected by experts of the Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture and the world heritage Centre of the United Nations Educations, Science and Cultural Organisation-UNESCO.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has warned against haphazard repair of the toppled spires of the pagodas, urging the ministries concerned to draw up a project plan with the technical assistance of the UNESCO.
A day after at least 187 pagodas were damaged in the powerful earthquake, President U Htin Kyaw went on an inspection tour of the Bagan archaeological zone to assess the damage.
Aung Thant Khaing