Thunderbolts kill 80 Cambodians in 1st half this year

PHNOM PENH, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Lightning strikes killed at least 80 Cambodian people in the first six months of this year, up 21 percent from 66 deaths a year earlier, a disaster control official said Wednesday.

Thunderbolts also injured 69 persons and claimed the lives of 46 cattle killed, said Keo Vy, chief of the National Committee for Disaster Management.
He blamed the heavy rains with lightning and thunderstorms caused by low pressure in the March-May season for the greater casualties in the six months.

"Now, it is a rainy season, lightning strikes can happen when there is rain, so people should be careful to avoid dangers," he told Xinhua. "They should stay in their houses when there are torrential rains with storms and lightning."
Cambodia has one of the world's highest rates of deaths by lightning at 7.8 deaths per million people, he said, adding that last year, lightning strikes killed 103 Cambodians and injured 72 others.Lightning becomes more common in Cambodia, which occurs frequently from March to November every year. 

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