Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday appealed to villagers to be careful because despite the current dry season, strong winds and lightning strikes still occur during the occasional rainstorm.
During a speech at a graduation ceremony in the capital, Mr Hun Sen said strong winds and lightning strikes have damaged homes, killed one and injured two people.
He called on the Cambodian Red Cross and local authorities to pay attention, adding that members of the armed forces should also be ready to be deployed to areas prone to disaster to help affected people.
“Do not let our people suffer. This is a problem that local residents must keep track of regularly,” he said. “Every citizen should be careful to not ignore strong winds and rain.”
Mr Hun Sen noted that there is still a shortage of water regardless of the rain.
“Though there has been some rain in some areas that have helped alleviate disadvantages, a lack of water is still a challenge,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen said that according to a Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology forecast, there will be occasional rain in the coming days.
He said however that people should store water in jars and buckets because the rain could cease at any time.
“Local authorities should try to solve this problem timely and help find water for people,” Mr Hun Sen said. “The best way is to dig wells and expand ponds rather than just waiting for rain or transporting water.”
In a statement, the ministry said occasional rain will cease tomorrow.
“During this time, people must be aware of strong winds that could create a danger,” it said.
On Sunday, two homes in Kampong Thom province were damaged by strong winds, while 16 homes were damaged by strong winds in Stung Treng province.
Additionally, one person was killed and two were injured after lightning struck in Pursat province on Sunday.
Chea Sarat, a police officer with Phteah Rong commune in Pursat, identified the dead as 85-year-old Choub Chet and the injured as 22-year-old Non Nov and 21-year-old Keo Chivon.
“Residents and local authorities helped to send the victims to a hospital, but one of them died when they arrived,” Ms Sarat said. “At the time, lightning struck before it began raining.”
National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said so far this year, 75 homes were destroyed in 13 provinces due to strong winds.
Mr Vy added that 440 homes, eight schools and 95 hawker stalls were damaged.
He noted that seven people were injured in lightning strikes.
“The occasional rain with strong winds and lightning happen during this time,” Mr Vy said. “Local authorities are ready to help by intervening and helping rebuild damaged homes.”