Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lightning strikes kill 13 to take number of dead this year to 59

Lightning strikes kill 13 to take number of dead this year to 59

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Lightning narrowly misses the construction site for new sky scrapers during a violent storm in Phnom Penh's Tonle Bassac commune last month. Hong Menea

Lightning strikes kill 13 to take number of dead this year to 59

In the last two weeks, lightning strikes have killed 13 people and injured 12 others, while a total of 59 people have been killed by lightning this year, with 56 injured.

National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy told The Post on Monday that because the cultivating season has arrived, farmers have started to work their fields and grow crops to support themselves and their families.

Working in fields during thunderstorms is highly risky for the farmers, Vy said.

As well as the human cost, lightning has also killed 17 cows in the last two weeks.

“With these new figures, as of Monday, the number of people who have been killed by lightning strikes has reached 59, and 56 people have been injured by lightning. Some 80 cows have been killed by lightning this year,” he said.

Vy asked people to be extremely careful during thunderstorms and warned against using electronic devices such as mobile phones, walkie-talkies, radios and televisions – and any equipment made of metal that can conduct electricity – in open spaces during storms.

On Friday last week, four people were killed and four others injured by lightning in three provinces.

In Ratanakkiri province, two students were killed and one was injured. In Kratie province, a mother and two children were slightly injured, while two men were killed in Siem Reap province.

In Ratanakkiri, Lumphat district acting police chief Khlol Thoeung told The Post on Monday that two school pupils were killed by lightning while playing football on the school field.

Yum Thai, 11, and Leng Kim Hor, 18, were killed instantly, Thoeung said, and another boy, Tvern Ren, 14, was seriously injured.

A 33-year-old woman named Bich Chanthou and her two daughters were injured by lightning in Kratie province while watching television behind their house while it was raining, said Sambor district police chief Bun Chhoeun.

Siem Reap city police chief of staff Chan Sothea told The Post that two men died after being struck by lightning in Siem Reap district’s Siem Reap commune.

The two victims were identified as Say Buntan, 33, a soft-drinks vendor from Siem Reap province, and Tieng Sambor, 27, a lotus fruit vendor originally from Battambang province.

They were hit by lightning on Friday afternoon while standing under a large tree to shelter from the rain.