Hail wreaks havoc in Kupwara
Fresh Snowfall In Sonamarg, Rains Lash Valley
IMRAN MUZAFFAR/SHAHID RAFIQ
Srinagar/Kupwara, Apr 30: While upper reaches of the valley Monday received fresh snowfall and the plains witnessed continuous rainfall, hailstorm wreaked havoc in the frontier district of Kupwara causing extensive damage to fruit and paddy crop. On Sunday also hailstorm had damaged crops in various north and central Kashmir areas.
Reports and eyewitnesses told Greater Kashmir that upper reaches of Bandipora, Kupwara, Pahalgam and Sonamarg received fresh snowfall. “At least five inches of fresh snow was recorded in Sonamarg market. It started snowing Monday afternoon till late evening,” chairman Beopar Mandal Sonamarg Gul Muhammad said.
While cold conditions prevailed in frontier Kupwara district, its upper reaches received light snowfall, reports said. “High altitude villages including Safawali, Shalbutta, Manigah, Kamkadi, Jummagund, Budnambal and Farkyan received fresh snowfall,” reports said.
Upper reaches of Sadhanna Pass, Machil Gali and Farkyan Top also received fresh snowfall.
According to preliminary reports paddy saplings in several areas of the district were devastated by the hailstorm which continued for at least one hour today lashing Lolab and other upper belts of the district.
The villages of Diver, Chandigam, Dorsa, Sogam, Khrihama, Warnow, Kuligam, Cheepora, Kalaroos, Hiaham, Halmatpora, Manigah, Batpora, Trumbnaad, and Shatpora were the worst hit. Reports of hailstorm were also received from Gulgam,Trehgam, Melyal, Chowkibal, Ramhal and other adjacent areas.
Locals said hailstorm with hailstones, weighing around 20 to 30 grams continued up to one hour, severely damaging paddy saplings, fruit buds, vegetables and other horticulture crops including flowers of walnut, pear, apple as well as mustard. Storm started around 3 pm and continued up to 4 pm. When the storm stopped the roof tops and fields came under white blanket of hailstones,” a resident Fayaz Ahmad of Sogam told Greater Kashmir.
Fayaz said that the intensity of the hailstorm was so severe that it thrashed the trees and plants, knocking down flowers and buds of blooming orchards and fields.
The walnut produce and paddy that forms the backbone of the horticulture and agriculture economy of the district suffered the maximum damage. The walnut producing areas of Hayhama, Lolab and Kupwara were the worst sufferers in the fresh weather development, locals said.
Pertinently on April 28 lightening had killed a woman and injured her son in Trehgam area of Kupwara.
Upper reaches in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district also received light snowfall. Among the areas getting snowfall were Athwatoo, Weaven, Chandaji and Kepson. “In main town harsh rainfall continued to worry farmers and hampered pedestrian movement,” eyewitness told Greater Kashmir over phone.
Eyewitnesses said water had logged in paddy nurseries of tehsil Sonawari. “People are worried about the water which has logged in the paddy fields here. We have to maintain paddy nurseries but we are facing grave problems because of a large quantity of rainwater. We are unable to sow the seeds,” said a local and social activist, Qawam-ud-din Shilwati. He said the dewatering pump stations had been dysfunctional in the area and appealed to authorities for the dewatering.
South Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district was gripped in extreme cold despite precipitation had stopped. “Although heavy rainfall has stopped but drizzles continue to dip the temperature,” said a local, Muhammad Khalid.
On Sunday hailstorm had hit south Kashmir’s Shopian district damaging apple trees and Khareef crops. “Areas of Chadoora had also been hit by hail,” reports said.
Hail also damaged apple trees and crops in Budgam district, reports said. However, exact damage was not confirmed.
Director metrological department Sonam Lotus said weather would improve gradually and there had been no reports of snowfall and hail. “Compared to yesterday, weather has improved today. There have been no reports of snowfall however cold conditions are prevailing,” he said.
Lotus said they had reports of moderate rainfall “but there will be gradual improvement and sun will shine”. He said there was likelihood of thunders and mild rainfall. “We are expecting thunder activity but the weather has already improved compared to yesterday. From tomorrow gradual improvement would take place,” the director said.
A MeT official said light rain and thunder showers would occur at various places across valley.
Fresh snowfall disrupted normal life in Sonamarg on Monday afternoon.
According to reports near about five inches of fresh snow was recorded in Sonamarg market.
Chairman Beopar Mandal Gul Muhammad War said snowfall annoyed stakeholders of tourist sector. However he said that tourists enjoyed te snowfall.
"We prey to God for bumper tourist season with better weather conditions this year in Sonamarg," Gul said.
Pertinently Sonamarg was thrown open for the tourists one month back. In order to boost tourism here Sonamarg Development Authority organized a spring festival last week and announced that such events would be organized every year.
Meanwhile, General Secretary Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Muhammad Dilawar Mir has urged government to provide immediate relief to the effected farmers in north Kashmir villages of Zithen, Kangroosa, Kitherdaji, Pazalpora, Chatroosa, Talzi, Dugerpora Sheikhpora.
As per the reports recent hailstorm and heavy rains have caused huge damage to the fruits including other crops in the area. SHEIKH NAZIR CONTRIBUTED REPORTING
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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