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Lightning deaths on the rise in Cambodia

Lightning deaths on the rise in Cambodia

THE number of people killed by lightning in Cambodia is rising fast, according to new figures released Tuesday.

During the first eight months of this year, 138 people died, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management. Last year, 95 people were killed. The increase has been blamed on a lack of awareness in rural areas.

Most victims were people standing in open fields or sheltering under trees during electrical storms, said the committee’s spokesman, Keo Vy.

The second-biggest cause was using electrical appliances. “Although we cannot stop lightning, we can help reduce the dangers caused by it,” he said, emphasising the need to educate people living in rural areas about mitigating the risk of being hit by lightning.

With the power of 100 million volts of electricity, a lightning bolt can measure more than 8 kilometres in length and raise the temperature of the surrounding air to 27,700C. Victims typically suffer cardiac arrest and damage to the central nervous system when struck.

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