Phnom Penh: Lightning strikes claimed 63 lives in Cambodia in 2022, down 24 per cent from 83 deaths a year earlier, a disaster control spokesman said on Thursday.
Besides the fatalities, thunderbolts injured 58 others last year, Soth Kim Kolmony, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), told Xinhua news agency.
He attributed the decline to people’s awareness of protecting themselves from being struck by lightning.
“To avoid the dangers of lightning strikes, people, especially those living in rural areas, should stay in houses or shelters when there is a storm or rain,” he said.
Kolmony added that to help prevent casualties in the future, especially in the provinces that have the highest number of victims, the NCDM plans to install lightning protection equipment in some high-risk areas.
“NCDM will visit high-risk provinces to review and assess the actual needs and report to the leaders for approval before installing lightning protection equipment in those provinces,” he said.
According to the spokesman, lightning strikes occur often during the rainy season from May to October.
In addition to the casualties from lightning strikes, rainwater flooding, which hit parts of the country in September and October, also claimed 14 lives, as storms killed three people and injured 71 others last year, he said.