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Storm kills Battambang farmer, many houses damaged

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Storms on Saturday afternoon have killed at least one person, seriously injured another and damaged scores of houses. Photo supplied

Storm kills Battambang farmer, many houses damaged

Local officials in three provinces told The Post on Sunday that storms on Saturday afternoon killed at least one person, seriously injured another and damaged scores of houses.

Soeu Samet, the governor of Battambang province’s Samlot district, said that Tam Bat, 35, a farmer in Ta Tork commune’s O’Ta Tiek village, was killed after being struck by lightning.

“The drought has made this area lack water, and so when the rain came, the victim went out to collect rainwater for his family’s consumption but was tragically struck by lightning,” he said.

Soeu Samet said the storm had destroyed four houses in a village in Samlout district’s Tasanh commune.

The storm also damaged 30 houses Preah Vihear province’s Chheb and Rovieng districts, seriously injuring a woman.

Chheb district police chief Chhuur Mady told The Post that 45-year-old Khat Sophany of M’lou Prey I commune’s Por Teap village was seriously injured and sent to hospital.

“The woman was in her house when the sudden strong winds caused it to collapse. Wooden beams fell on her but fortunately she was not killed,” he said.

Chhuur Mady said that on Sunday he led officers in the repair of houses damaged by the storm. He said 20 were damaged, six of which, including the injured woman’s, were flattened.

Rovieng district police chief Say Deth said 13 houses were damaged in his district on Saturday evening but no one was killed or injured.

Suon Bovor, governor of Banteay Meanchey province, told The Post that the storm damaged 33 houses in Svay Chek and Mongkul Borey districts, while seven in Mongkul Borey were destroyed.

The government, with the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), has set up 53 automatic weather stations and automatic hydrological stations in areas most vulnerable to extreme weather and flooding, the UNDP said on Saturday.

Cambodia has faced floods and drought every year since 2015, with the UNDP providing financial and technical assistance and equipment for the stations.

Twenty-four automatic weather stations and 29 automatic hydrological stations have been set up in nine provinces – Koh Kong, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kep, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kandal, Kampong Cham and Preah Vihear – to monitor natural disasters and mitigate their effects.

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