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Bolt from the blue: Lightning asualties on the rise

Bolt from the blue: Lightning asualties on the rise

The Kingdom saw nearly 150 lightning strike casualties in the first six months of 2013, an almost 14 per cent increase over the same period in 2012, the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) announced yesterday.

NCDM cabinet chief Keo Vy said that lightning casualties usually spike as the weather transitions from dry to rainy, but said that numbers in 2013 were still unusually high.

“The rainy season is not over yet, so we want to remind the people again to be careful of lightning and to follow the methods that were described in the Ministry of Meteorology’s leaflets,” he said.

According to the NCDM, there have been 80 lightning deaths so far in 2013 and a further 69 injuries, with 46 cattle killed. The numbers compare poorly with the same period last year, when only 66 people were killed, 65 were injured and 32 cattle died.

This year Battambang, Kampong Thom and Takeo provinces topped the list of lightning strike deaths, with 10, nine and nine respectively.

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