Two people, one of them a four-year-old girl, have been killed in lightning strikes in recent days.
Chet Borey district Deputy Police Chief Pav Kemhuot said the child, Sruoch Sreypich, 4, was killed as she watched television with her mother in Kratie province’s Thmey commune on Tuesday during a torrential downpour. Her mother, 29-year-old Choeun Sai, received burns to her legs in the lightning strike.
Kemhuot said that while villagers believed they were safe watching television or listening to the radio inside their homes during storms, he warned that antennas acted as lightning rods.
“If we use the radio device when it is raining, we are facing with danger posed by the lightning every time,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Prey Veng province, farmer Doung Sarat, 50, was struck as he herded cows home from a rice field, about 800 metres from his home in Peam Chor district’s Svay Phlos commune.
District Police Chief Chea Heng said while he encouraged people not to leave their homes or use electronic devices during storms, it was difficult to enforce as most strikes occurred in the afternoon or evening – a time of day when farmers were often busy with plowing, planting and herding animals.
National Committee for Disaster Management spokesman Keo Vy said the latest fatalities brought the total to nine deaths and four injuries caused by lightning strikes so far this year.