Lightning strike in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nob district killed one person and injured three others on Wednesday, while another lightning strike in Banteay Meanchey’s Phnom Srok district has killed three people.
A report said during the first nine months of this year, lightning has killed more than one hundred people and injured dozens.
Pov Chan, Ou Okhna Heng commune police chief, yesterday said the lightning struck in the afternoon, killing 35-year-old driver Lem Pronh, while injuring three others.
“The four victims were clearing a nearby forest about six to seven kilometres away from Ou Okhna Heng village,” Mr Chan said. “They were in a mountainous area when suddenly the sky began to show signs of rain. Lightning then struck and killed one of them, while one was seriously injured and the two others suffered only minor injuries.”
He noted that the three injured were sent to hospital in the village and continued treatment at home. A funeral was held for Mr Pronh.
Meanwhile, in Banteay Meanchey, three farmers were killed while tending to their herd at Srah Chik commune’s Srah Chik village.
Chem Thom, a Phnom Srok deputy district police chief, yesterday said the strike occurred at about 3:30pm during rain.
“There was rain and lightning. The three people were tending to their cows and looked for shelter at a rice field when lightning struck, hitting all three,” Mr Thom said. “They all died at the scene.”
He noted that the victims were identified as farmers Mak Yoeuy, Moeun Samet and Prel Chhenge.
Keo Vy, a National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman, said lightning strikes have killed 96 people while injuring 63 others.
Mr Vy added that most of the victims hailed from Kampong Thom, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Sihanouk provinces.
“The rate of lightning incidents this [so far] year increased when compared to the whole year last year. About 70 to 80 people died in 2017,” he said. “This year’s [lightning] incidents occurred due to a change in weather patterns. So many areas have been affected by storms. There were also different pressures, increasing the risk of lightning strikes.”
Mr Vy said farmers and villagers should refrain from working in fields during rain, adding that phones, radios and television sets should be powered off at home.
He noted that metal objects and high trees are prone to lightning strikes.