Lightning Claims its 100th Victim This Year

A woman in Kompong Thom province died Thursday evening after being struck by lightning, making her the 100th person to be killed by lightning this year, officials said yesterday.

Lightning struck Theang Leab, 32, as she was selling fish off her motorcycle on National Road 6 in Stong district’s Bralay commune, said commune police chief Soe Koeu.

Two women who were buying fish from Ms Leab when lightning stuck also sustained minor injuries, Mr Koeu said.

In nearby Prek Eng commune, a 50-year-old woman, Phat Yoeurn, was killed when her house collapsed on her as a result of the storm.

“In total…eight houses were knocked down and 18 others were damaged. One person died and four were injured,” according to commune chief Net Saren.

Keo Vy, deputy director of the National Committee for Disaster Management’s information department, said that Ms Leab was the 100th person to die from lightning this year.

In the first half of 2010, 89 storms destroyed 794 houses and killed 75 people-68 of whom were killed by lightning, Mr Vy said. In the first six months of this year, 36 storms have destroyed 170 houses and killed 101 people, he said. The death of Ms Leab on Thursday brought the total number of lightning deaths this year to 100.

“This year, in total, 100 people have been killed by lightning and 75 have been injured,” Mr Vy said, adding that the NCDM and the Ministry of Water Resources were continuing to educate communities on how to avoid being struck by lightning.


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