A man died and his brother was seriously hurt on Sunday night when they were struck by lightning during a trip to catch fish at a rice field in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Teab district.
Captain Kim Socheat, district deputy police chief, yesterday named the dead man as Lay Sopheap, 36, and said his brother Chorn Thov, 16, was seriously injured in the incident.
“They drove a motorbike to a rice field and set up fishing nets while it was raining,” he noted. “While they were driving home, lightning struck and Mr Sopheap was killed instantly while Mr Thov was seriously hurt and is now being treated at the provincial referral hospital.”
Cap Socheat noted that this was the first lightning case in his district this year.
He said people living in the district are aware of the dangers posed by lightning strikes because authorities frequently remind them about how to avoid getting struck.
“Local authorities disseminate information to our people through the Village/Commune Safety Policy and we often conduct safety talks at pagodas when the villagers gather during holy events, and also at schools,” Cap Socheat noted. “So, people understand and know how to protect themselves.”
A recent National Committee for Disaster Management report said that 85 people were killed by lightning during the first nine months of this year, down 13 percent from the same period last year when there were 96 deaths.
It noted lightning strikes often happen during the rainy season from May to October.
“When there is lightning, people should stay indoors at home or take shelter,” the report said. “Do not use phones, watch television or shelter under trees when it is raining.”
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on Friday issued an alert for people to be wary of possible thunderstorms and lightning until Thursday.