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Lightning hits twice as many

The number of people killed or injured by lightning strikes so far this year is almost double the number last year, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management.

Keo Vy, chief of Cabinet at the National Committee for Disaster Management, told the Post yesterday that “165 people were killed and 139 were injured by lightning in 2011”. Sixty cattle were killed and four houses were also destroyed, he added.

Last year, 114 people were killed by lightning and 58 injured, according to the NCDM.

Most lightning strikes occurred in plateau areas of Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Cham, Takeo and Prey Veng provinces, Keo Vy said.

Most Cambodians cannot afford lightning rods, but researchers at the Royal Academy in Phnom Penh were studying how to make inexpensive lightning rods, he said, adding they were unsure when they would be able to produce them.

“We are constantly educating people about how to avoid lightning. We tell them not to stay outside during a storm, turn off mobile phones and radio and stay away from tall trees, electricity poles and metal objects,” Keo Vy said.

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