Stormy Weather in Capital Claims 3 Lives

Two men and a young boy were killed and 16 were injured Tuesday after a series of violent thunderstorms swept through Phnom Penh late in the afternoon, destroying more than 100 homes, municipal official Chin Por said Wednesday.

One of the men and the boy, both unidentified, died after their Meanchey district house collapsed, according to district police Chief Pol Muth. The third victim, identified as Phang Hoeun, died after being struck by lightning in Russei Keo district, district Governor Touch Sarun said.

In total, 89 houses and buildings in Meanchey district were destroyed by the storm’s rain and high winds, authorities said.

Six of the district’s residents were injured, including Saing Nary, 40, whose Boeung Tom Pon commune house collapsed with 20 other commune homes.

“Now I have nothing,” Saing Nary said. “I took only two pigs and some clothes and all the clothes got wet.”

Six houses were destroyed and one woman injured in Chamkar Mon district while 23 houses collapsed and nine people were injured in Dangkao district, authorities said.

A delegation of Phnom Penh officials led by Deputy Governor Chev Kim Heng visited the families of the storm’s victims early Wednesday morning at Red Cross stations across the city before appealing to the public for donations for the injured and homeless.

Tuesday’s thunderstorm drop­ped 12.5 mm of water between 4:30 and 5:30 pm, according to Seth Vannareth, director of the meteorology department for the Ministry of Water Resources. Such thunderstorms typically occur in tropical areas between May and August, she said.

The Meteorology Department is asking donor countries, especially France and Japan, for more meteorology equipment.

“We have no equipment to get information for our people about thunderstorms in Cambodia,” Seth Vannareth said. “I feel sorry for the incident [Tuesday].”

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