This year’s lightning death toll at 124
Lightning killed two men and injured a boy in Battambang province and injured eight people in Siem Reap province on Saturday, bringing the lightning death toll so far this year to 124, officials said.
Sao Mean, 30, and his brother Sao Morn, 27, were killed by lightning while they were driving a motorcycle home after working in a rice field in Bavel district’s Lvea commune, according to district police chief Oun Proeung. He added that an 8-year-old boy was also on the motorcycle with the two brothers but was only injured.
“The victims died instantly,” Mr Proeung said, adding that there have been four lightning deaths in Bavel district this year.
In Siem Reap City’s Nokor Thom commune, five women and two men were struck by lightning and knocked unconscious as they were headed home from working at about 8:30 pm, according to commune police chief Yam Yach. Police immediately took the victims to the provincial hospital, where they recovered after about two hours, Mr Yach said.
In Ampil commune’s Prey Kouy village, also in Siem Reap, a 12-year-old girl was knocked unconscious by lightning at about 8 pm when she tried to close the metal door to her house during a storm, Siem Reap City police chief Sun San said. He added that three houses were damaged by wind during the storm, one of which was destroyed completely.
Keo Vy, deputy director of the National Committee for Disaster Management’s information department, expressed concern yesterday about the rising death toll from lightning.
“Lightning is still a concern for us, and if the fatalities continue to increase, we will be faced with the same number of lightning fatalities as 2009,” he said. Fatalities hit 140 in 2009 but dipped to 114 in 2010, Mr Vy said. In addition to the 124 deaths from lightning this year, 100 people have been injured and 56 cattle have been killed.