From the beginning of January to mid-May, lightning strikes left at least 13 people dead and nine others injured and killed a total of 25 cattle, according to official data seen by The Post.
Most of the victims were reported to have been ploughing fields, herding cattle, playing with their phones, or travelling by bicycle or motorbike during a thunder storm.
The latest case took place on May 10 when a lightning strike occurred in Talou commune’s Tuol Toteung village of Pursat province’s Talou Sen Chey district, killing a man and a woman, according to district police chief Ul Hay.
He said that prior to the lightning strike, 37-year-old man Eng Ly and 55-year-old Chhorn Chan, deputy chief of the village, were looking for a tractor driver to plough their fields.
“They were struck by lightning while sheltering from the rain under a tree close to their field,” he said.
On May 1, 34-year-old Ros Rong, a resident of Bankam commune’s Sethy Village of Takeo province’s Prey Kabbas district, was struck by lightning while spraying fertiliser in light rain, according to district police chief Chum Chhoeun.
He said his officers had worked with meteorologists to educate local people in ways to protect themselves from lightning.
“We have told people not to herd cattle or work in the fields when it is raining, and not to shelter under tall trees or use electronic devices, as these increase the risk of being struck,” he said.
Ly Sovann, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said people should follow the advice of experts.
He gave instructions on how to provide first aid to a victim of a lightning.
“If a victim is not breathing, we should perform CPR. Blankets should be used to keep the vitim warm, and we should be careful moving them, as they may have broken bones or internal bleeding,” he said.
According to forecasts by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, at the beginning of this rainy season, there will be heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms, which may affect the daily lives of people living in areas vulnerable to lightning strikes, such as mountains, plateaus and lowlands.