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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a