The Government of Cambodia has decided to cancel the annual traditional boat race next month in Phnom Penh due to great losses caused by Mekong flash floods.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his decision dated October 6, said Mekong floods due to high water level have severely inundated rice fields, destroyed public works and caused property losses and claimed human lives.

To focus on flood issues, the Government decides to suspend the celebration of the festival, which is planned on Nov. 15-18 on Tonle Sap River in front of the Royal Palace, according to the document.

According to the National Committee for Disaster Management, the floods have claimed at least 30 lives, forced 7,900 families to flee homes and inundated over 62,000 houses, 385 schools and 245 pagodas.

Floods have been affecting 10 out of the kingdom's 24 cities and provinces in the last three weeks.

Boat race or Water Festival is the largest annual festival in the Southeast Asian nation which is held in full moon of the tenth lunar month.

It is the third consecutive year that the country has canceled the festival.

The cancellation in 2011 was due to flood devastation, which killed at least 250 people and the cancellation in 2012 was due to the death of former King Norodom Sihanouk.-VNA