Thursday, 20 August 2009

Lightning strikes kill 113 in Cambodia in 2009

Wed, 19 Aug 2009
Author : DPA

Phnom Penh - Lightning has killed 113 people so far this year in Cambodia, making 2009 the worst in recent years for deaths attributable to the natural phenomenon, national media reported. Four more people have been struck and killed by lightning since Saturday, the Cambodia Daily newspaper reported, including a 16-year-old youth walking two cows across a rice field on Tuesday.

The government's National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) said 93 people died last year from lightning strikes, more than double the 45 who were killed in 2007.

The deputy head of the NCDM, Nhim Vanda, said it was unclear why numbers are rising year on year, but said climate change could in part be to blame.

"This year lightning has killed more than 100 people, but it is more usual for lightning to kill around 40 people per year," Nhim Vanda told the newspaper.

He said the government is making efforts to educate Cambodians about the dangers of lightning, and how to protect themselves in the event of a storm.

"Everyone should turn off TVs, radios and telephones, and refrain from touching metal objects during rainstorms," he said.

The government will hold a series of workshops next year to educate people about the dangers of lightning.

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