A 19-year-old woman, Phuong Chhaly, was killed by a lightning strike on Monday night while planting cassava with her family in O’Andong commune’s Thnal Keng village, in Pailin province’s Sala Krao district.
More than 10 houses were also damaged in the commune, while in Siem Reap province, nearly 20 homes were all but destroyed in the same storm.
Sala Krao district inspector Ry Dara confirmed to The Post on Tuesday that a rainstorm with strong winds and lightning occurred at Thnal Keng village on Monday night, with the fatal lightning strike hitting a spot near the village’s Krabao stream.
Dara said Chhaly was from Lvea commune’s Boeung Samrong village in Battambang province’s Bavel district.
Before the incident, he said she and her family were planting cassava, which they planned to sell.
“As her family confirmed when the rain fell, she and her family did not stop to find a safe place to shelter.
“Instead, they continued planting during the storm as they wanted to plant the crop earlier than scheduled. Unfortunately, Chhaly was struck by lightning that evening,” Dara said.
Dara also confirmed that the houses of 13 residents in O’Andong commune were blown apart by the storm.
In Siem Reap province’s Srei Snam, Moung, Brei, and Klaing Hay districts, 19 houses and a farmer’s tractor were severely damaged by Monday’s storm, said Srei Snam district police chief Un Sros.
He said the homes only had minimal roofing installed. Four of the 19 homes collapsed completely, six suffered moderate damage, and the tractor was crushed by one of the houses that collapsed.
“However, no one was killed or injured in the incident,” he said.
He said 19 homes were damaged during a storm last Thursday in Tram Sasar and Chroy Neang Nuon districts, but the damage wasn’t as severe.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology warned that low-pressure systems were still affecting Cambodia and issued a weather warning for April 8-14 predicting rain, strong winds and lightning.
Ministry spokesman Chan Yutha called on the people to be on alert for severe weather.
“Thunder and strong winds are still present, especially in the northwest-central low-lying land and the northern highlands,” Yutha said.