Lightning Stikes and Kills Six People in Pursat Province

Six people were killed instantly by lightning in two separate cases on Monday in Pursat province’s Bakan district, police said.

The victims were killed during a storm in Svay Donkeo and Boeng Khnar communes at about 4:30 pm, according to district police chief Pen Tung.

“The lightning struck them to death when there was strong wind with little rain,” he said.

In Svay Donkeo, three people were killed while sheltering in a house with a roof under construction, commune police chief Kuy Bora said yesterday. About seven people were in the house when the lightning struck but only Sor Phearum, 60, He Mao, 24 and Son Mab, 23 died.

“I am very sorry that three people died…. It is a pity but I do not know what to do because it was a natural disaster,” Mr Bora said.

At roughly the same time in Boeng Khnar, three people sitting on a porch were struck by lightning and killed, commune police chief Nhien Voeun said. The 49-year-old female homeowner and two visitors aged 19 and 15 died instantly. “This year the lightning is stronger than last year. We are very concerned when it rains,” Mr Voeun said.

Mr Tung agreed that although lightning is always common at the start of the rainy season, it has increased this year. During the beginning of the season last year lightning killed about six people in the district, Mr Tung said. He attributed the lightning increase to climate change and the use of modern equipment.

“We are warning people not to turn on the radio or TV and stay home when it rains,” he added.

There has been an upward trend in the number of people killed by lightning over the last several years. According to the National Committee for Disaster Management, 140 people were killed in 2009 up more than 50 percent from 95 in 2008.

 

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