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Nearly 200 killed, injured by fires, storms, lightning

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Firefighters try to put out a fire at LED shop in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district on September 11. POLICE

Nearly 200 killed, injured by fires, storms, lightning

Some 200 people were killed or injured in fires, storms and by lightning in the first eight months of this year, according to Soth Kimkol Mony, spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

This represented a significant drop from the same period last year.

Kimkol Mony told The Post that during the period, fires, storms and lightning strikes had killed 62 people and injured 136.

Compared to the same period last year, the death toll dropped by 32, while the number of injured dropped by 22.

“Lightning caused the most deaths, followed by fire. Fires, storms and lightning strikes are still serious threats to life that require constant vigilance,” he said.

According to detailed data seen by The Post, lightning left 48 people dead and 48 injured, killed 79 head of cattle and damaged 20 houses.

Fires killed 11 people and injured 36, with 569 homes, 66 shops, 13 warehouses, nine factories, two schools, two public administration buildings and many hectares of forest damaged.

Storms killed three people and injured 52, destroying 850 homes and damaging 3,085, with 33 school roofs, 13 markets and 17 administrative buildings also damaged.

Net Vantha, director of the fire department at the Ministry of Interior, called on the public as well as the owners of factories and manufacturing enterprises to pay greater attention to the causes of fire.

These include candles, incense, stoves, wood, coal, gas and electricity, especially the wiring systems in buildings.

“This season is the Pchum Ben festival, with the use of electricity for cooking in each home increasing,” he said. “So to prevent fires, people should be careful to turn off the stove after cooking and turn off the electricity before leaving the house.”

According to Vantha, most of the fires were caused by electrical faults, gas stoves and firewood.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology on September 13 warned that people living in low-lying areas along rivers and in the catchment areas of mountains and plateaus will again face flash floods between September 14-20.

The warning came after meteorology officials observed areas of low pressure across northern Thailand, Laos and Vietnam moving towards the central Mekong basin.

The southwest monsoon has blown from weak to strong, causing cloudy weather in Cambodia, with moderate to medium scattered rain across the country set to again flood previously inundated areas.


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