The spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said that through Sunday, lightning has caused over 90 casualties, including more than 50 deaths, while storms have damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 residences and killed roughly 50 head of cattle, as the rainy season began with a fury.
On Thursday, five people, including a 4-year-old, were killed instantly in a lightning strike in Koh Kong, according to AFP. And on Sunday afternoon in Sreung commune in Kampong Thom province’s Brasat Sambo district, three people were injured after lightning struck a tree, according to Chab Pun, the commune’s chief of police.
NCDM spokesman Keo Vy said on Sunday that lightning has already killed 51 people – up from 41 in the same period last year – injured 40 others and killed 53 cows and buffalo. Meanwhile storms have been responsible for at least two additional deaths and 25 injuries. Storms have also damaged 1,648 homes and destroyed 394 others. Schools, commune halls, hospitals and police stations around the country have also experienced damage.
“When it rains, and the storm comes and lightning is present, it is dangerous and puts people’s lives in danger; but farmers living in rural areas are happy to work when it rains, and this is a point of concern,” Vy said.
Pun told The Post on Sunday that at 4:40pm, lightning struck a coconut tree and hurt three people under their house near the tree. They fainted and were sent to hospital.
Vy said the government had conducted lightning-education seminars to warn people to avoid sheltering under trees and standing in water, According the AFP.