A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

This year's lightning fatalities outpace ’15



Two bolts of lightning strike the ground near Phnom Penh during a thunder storm last year. Hong Menea


Fri, 13 May 2016 ppp
Khouth Sophak Chakrya


Storms and lightning strikes have killed more people in the first five months of this year than in the same period in 2015, an official said yesterday.

National Committee of Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said the uptick did not include three people killed during lightning storms on Wednesday, which injured 12 people and damaged 620 houses in Stung Treng, Kampong Speu and Battambang provinces.

Vy said from January to the first week of May, 85 storms hit the capital and 20 provinces, killing seven people and injuring 71. At the same time, 2,433 houses were damaged, included 473 severely.

During the five months, lightning has killed 15 people, injured 16 and left a dozen cattle dead.

“The number of deaths caused by storms has increase four-fold, while the death toll caused by lightning slightly increased,” Vy said.

Separately, since January, some 362 fires have killed 13 people and injured eight, according to the Interior Ministry’s fire department director, Net Vutha.

Vutha said 43 per cent of the fires – which damaged 601 houses and 1,220 market stalls – were caused by electrical faults, 36 per cent by careless power usage, and 20 per cent by other factors.

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