Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Flood waters not for krathongs'

'Flood waters not for krathongs'

Authorities have warned Bangkok residents against floating their krathongs in flood water.

Krathongs are decorative floats that Thais have for centuries floated on the night of Loy Krathong, one of the country's most colourful festivals. This year, the Loy Krathong festival falls tomorrow.

However, millions of Bangkok residents are now surrounded by flood water and many may be tempted to launch their floats in front of their inundated homes, a move that many agencies fear could cause fire.

People usually light candles on their krathongs.

"If your floats get trapped in a house and cause fire, you will face legal action," Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner Maj-General Amnuay Nimmano warned.

He said revellers should strictly float their krathongs in prepared areas only.

Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) would open unaffected public parks for the Loy Krathong festival so that people could celebrate a centuries-old tradition.

According to a senior BMA official, up to 16 public parks will be open for the Loy Krathong Festival, including Lumpini, Benjakiti and Benjasiri parks.

"Don't float krathongs from your flooded houses as that might cause fires," Sukhumbhand warned.

He also advised people against floating krathongs in the Chao Phraya River and canals with strong currents.

"It can be dangerous," the governor warned.
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