Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s lightning deaths spike in 2015

Kingdom’s lightning deaths spike in 2015

Two bolts of lightning strike the ground near Phnom Penh during a thunder storm last year.
Two bolts of lightning strike the ground near Phnom Penh during a thunder storm last year. Hong Menea

Kingdom’s lightning deaths spike in 2015

Deaths from lightning strikes jumped 42.6 per cent year-to-year in 2015, with 107 people killed and another 77 injured across the Kingdom, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the National Committee for Disaster Management.

The numbers represent a marked increase from 2014, when 75 people died and 55 were injured.

Keo Vy, the NCDM spokesman, yesterday blamed climate change for more frequent and intense storms that increase people’s chances of being struck.

“Last year, we have seen more extreme weather during the rainy season,” said Vy. “More storms mean more lightning.”

Ian Thomas, an adviser with the Mekong River Commission, said that last year’s powerful El Niño cycle made dry season droughts longer and rainy season storms more violent.

High ocean temperatures associated with El Niño are expected to persist into 2016, likely bringing more of the same in this year’s rainy season, he said.

Property damage also increased, with nine houses being severely damaged by lightning in 2015, compared to five in 2014. On the other hand, the number of injured cattle dropped from 58 to 40.

The three most dangerous provinces for lightning in 2014 were Battambang, Bantey Meanchey and Pursat. In 2015, Battambang remained in the top three, with 10 lightning deaths, but Takeo edged its way to the top with 14 deaths, while Prey Veng was second with 12 deaths.

MOST VIEWED

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Temporarily laid-off workers to get just $70

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced changes in the allowances for temporarily laid-off garment workers from receiving 60 per cent of the minimum wage to a flat $70 because factories cannot pay, he said. Workers will also not be required to attend training courses after more than 100 factories

  • Tourists can now prolong their stay

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the Kingdom after January 1 will be allowed to prolong their stay until they are able to return home. The decision comes as Cambodia and most countries take measures to

  • PM: Law likely next week

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be approved after the Khmer New Year, though he said there is a slim chance of enforcement given the current