Two men were killed by lightning strikes at two separate locations in Kampong Svay district, Kampong Thom province on Tuesday.
Kampong Svay district police chief Khen Chhunkor on Wednesday identified the first victim as Seng Vath, 64, from Mor village, Chey commune, Kampong Svay district. The lightning struck him in a paddy field in the village when he was herding his cows home in the rain.
He said about two hours later another strike killed Bien Him, 33, in Trach village, Tbeng commune when he was also herding cattle about 20m from his home.
“We cannot blame the victims for being careless. They are farmers who mostly do farm work and raise animals in the field,” Chunkor said, adding that it is hard to advise people not to carry out farm work or herd animals even when lightning has killed farmers.
National Committee for Disaster Management adviser Keo Vy said the two deaths in Kampong Thom have brought the death toll from lightning strikes to 14 in the first five months of the year.
Nine others have been injured and 20 cattle killed. The numbers are down from last year when 46 people were killed and 44 injured, he said.
Vy said people should be cautious. The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on Monday forecast that lightning and strong winds would continue from Wednesday to June 2 in addition to scattered rain.