A violent storm killed a man and damaged 22 houses on Thursday in Sihanoukville, city police chief Man Tour said on Friday.
Kim Sokthai, 26, died after a zinc roof was ripped from a structure and crashed into his neck, nearly severing his head from his body, Mr Tour said, adding that Mr Sokthai had been rushing to get back home to check up on his wife and newborn baby at the time of the incident.
“This accident happened because he was running through the storm,” Mr Tour said, adding that Mr Sokthai died at 5 pm on the way to the hospital.
The storm also destroyed 16 houses and seriously damaged another six, Mr Tour said.
The Cambodian Red Cross handed out donations to local people whose homes were destroyed and to Mr Sokthai’s family on Friday, the Sihanoukville police chief added.
Mr Tour described the storm as resembling a tornado, saying it had caught the residents off guard due to its speed and violence.
“Because the villagers’ houses were small and weak, it was easy to destroy them,” he said.
Despite Mr Tour‘s characterization of the storm as a tornado, Oum Ryna, deputy director of the meteorology department at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, said tornados do not occur in Cambodia.
He said the coastal resort town had in fact been hit by an unusually severe rainstorm.
In a separate weather-related incident on Wednesday, Nhanh Sung, 57, died after being struck by lightning in Prey Veng province’s Preah Sdech district, deputy district police chief Chey Sengheang said on Friday.
Mr Sung was struck by lightning while herding buffalo, Mr Sengheang said, adding, “The body was badly burned.”
Keo Vy, deputy director of the information and relations department at the National Committee for Disaster Management, said on Friday that the total number of lightning deaths in Cambodia so far this year now stands at 29.