PHNOM PENH, Dec. 26 (FN) -- Altogether 108 Cambodians, mostly rural dwellers, had been killed by lightning strikes in 2016, up 0.9 percent from 107 deaths in 2015, a spokesman said Monday.

Besides the fatalities, thunderbolts had injured 105 others this year, up 36 percent from 77 injuries last year, Keo Vy, the spokesman for the National Committee for Disaster Management, said.

He said that prolonged drought before the rainy season this year was blamed for the surge in lightning casualties.

"It is common to see lightning strikes during annual rainy season from May to October, but this year, there had been more lightning strikes than usual because of the worst drought in May and June," he told Xinhua.

He said to avoid the dangers of thunderbolts, people should stay indoor when there is rain.

In addition to lightning casualties, storms had claimed 21 lives and injured 193 others in 2016, said the spokesman.