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Officials Say Restoration of Tham Luang Cave is Almost Halfway Complete

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CHIANG RAI – The restoration of Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, is now 40 percent complete conservation management office’s director, Kamolchai Kotcha, has told reporters.

The cave has been temporarily closed to visitors, following the successful rescue of 12 boys and their football coach. People can still visit the national park to worship the Jao Mae Nang Non shrine.

Director, Kamolchai Kotcha, said Tham Luang cave is still being closed to all visitors, as the water level inside the cave remains high.

Mr. Kamolchai said the water level in the cave would normally be 50 to 70 centimeters deep. However, excavations and some works in the rescue mission have made some flooded areas inside the cave now become three to four meters deep.

Related agencies are now using heavy machines to restore the area damaged from the rescue missions by paving pebbles, restoring grass floors, and adjusting the waterway. The entire restoration works are now 40 percent complete, with the water inside the cave to remain in emerald color even after the restoration works.

The cave, which is now positioned to be another tourism attraction of Thailand, will be thoroughly inspected, and will have to get approval for opening from the Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation before being re-opened to the general public.

Meanwhile, many people have continued to visit the cave site to pay their respects to the Jao Mae Nang Nong shrine. Meanwhile, the construction of a museum on the rescue operations of the Wild Boar football team, and a monument honoring a former Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, who died during the operations, are now underway. The constructions would take about four months to complete.

By Tanakorn Sangiam

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