Inclement weather claimed the lives of at least 56 Cambodians, injured another 166 and damaged and destroyed more than 7,000 homes in the first six months of 2015, according to a report released by the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) yesterday.
Forty-four of the deaths were caused by lightning, down more than 20 per cent from 57 deaths for all of 2014, the report says.
Lightning also injured another 51 people, killed 36 cattle and damaged six homes.
The first six months of the year saw 145 storms – up 50 per cent from last year – which killed 12.
Only eight were killed in storms last year, said NCDM spokesman Keo Vy.
Another 115 were injured this year, and 1,442 houses were completely destroyed, with another 5,737 homes damaged.
Deflecting criticisms levelled at Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this year, Vy said that there had been no prejudice in the distribution of Red Cross aid to affected families, and insisted that “we have separated the aid based on standards of evaluation of the damages”.
The Law on Disaster Management was adopted by the National Assembly earlier this month, and contains provisions holding officials legally liable for substandard responses to disasters.