Lightning killed three people in separate incidents over the weekend, bringing the official number of deaths to 61 so far this year, officials said.
However, fewer people have been killed by lightning in 2010 to date than during the same period last year, when 100 died, according to Keo Vy, deputy director of the department of information and relations at the National Center for Disaster Management.
“This year, the number of people killed is reduced because the rainy season started later,” he explained. “Last year, the rains started from March, but this year it started in April.”
Oeur Uon, 25, died instantly on Sunday after being struck by lightning while taking his cows home in Pursat province’s Pursat city, according to Loloak Sar commune police chief Chhoeun Khoeun.
“The lightning struck during a light rainstorm,” he said yesterday. “The villagers heard the sound of lightning and then saw the victim fall down and break his neck.”
The previous day, Meas Heang, a 32-year-old rubber plantation worker in Kompong Thom province’s Sandan district, was killed while standing under a tree on a plantation in Tomring commune, commune chief Sea Soeun said on Sunday.
Commune clerk Ros Savin added that it was unclear if Ms Heang was hit by lightning directly or if the tree was hit and electric current passed through to her.
“The people near her at that moment said that lightning was so strong that parts of the tree flew 20 meters away after the lightning struck,” he said.
Also on Saturday, Sambath Vanna, 50, was killed in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district while working in his rice field, Mean Samnang, deputy district police chief, said on Sunday.
“It was raining severely, and he did not find shelter,” he said, adding that the victim was alone in an open field when he died. “People go out and do farming this time of year because the rainy season is good for farming.”