Rainstorms and lightning strikes killed at least one farmer and seriously injured another person as well as damaging 65 houses and several public administrative buildings in the provinces of Oddar Meanchey, Battambang and Pursat, according to local authorities on April 16.
Oddar Meanchey provincial Disaster Management Committee director Chea Piseth told The Post that heavy rains and strong winds on the evening of April 16 left one person dead and another seriously injured and damaged 35 houses in Samrong town and Banteay Ampil and Chongkal districts.
“On Sunday, there was also moderate rain elsewhere in the province, but no heavy rains or lightning strikes,” Piseth said.
According to Piseth, a farmer from Beng commune’s Vor Yeav village in Banteay Ampil district, 50-year-old Smon Leak, was struck and killed by lightning while he was planting cassava during the storm.
The other victim – a 17-year-old girl and Leak’s neighbour named Gik Srey Houy – was seriously injured and was sent to the Thma Puok district Referral Hospital in neighbouring Banteay Meanchey province.
In Battambang province, Ratanak Mondol district police chief Sorn Nil told The Post that on the afternoon of April 16, there were rainstorms and lightning strikes in the district that damaged one radio antenna tower and two of the police station’s administrative buildings and collapsed 30 houses.
"Ever since I was a child, I have never seen or experienced such weather. It knocked down a radio antenna tower, tore down and uprooted trees, some of which fell on our buildings and damaged two of them.
"As for the people's houses, 30 of them collapsed. Fortunately, no one was in danger," he said.
In Pursat province, Phnom Kravanh district police chief Tann Kearith told The Post that the rainstorms on April 16 damaged the police station’s roof and other material. It also destroyed the roofs of two houses in Prangil commune.
Chan Yutha, a spokesman at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, told The Post that Cambodia was currently suffering from the effects of Super Typhoon Surigae which is moving north along the east coast of the Philippines. This is creating a southwest monsoon like during the rainy season, which could cause more rainy weather from April 18 to 20 across the country.
At the same time, he called on people to be careful of thunder, lightning and strong winds that can occur frequently, especially in the lowland provinces.