Hailstorm Lashes Pulwama, Fruit Prospects Hit

SRINAGAR: A furious hailstorm lashed many villages in the Pulwama district in Kashmir on Monday afternoon amid showers elsewhere in the Valley’s plains and light snowfall in the higher reaches.

Fruit blossom in over a dozen villages in the southern district was shredded by hail stones shooting down from the skies to damage crop prospects this year.

The fury lasted for nearly half an hour, leaving a 4 inch thick layer of white on the ground, locals said.

Hajan, Rajpora, Ledu, Gund, Arbal, Nagas, Shadi Marg, Chandpora, and Hayan Gund  were among the areas to take the brunt of the storm.

Locals said that the weather had taken a sudden turn shortly after 2 p.m. with high speed winds and rain.

“Within no time, it was a terrifying cascade of white pebbles,” they said. “We ran for cover. Roads and markets became deserted. Even traffic stopped.”

“There was no let up for nearly half-an-hour. Many recited prayers and sacred verses,” they said.

The storm also damaged mustard fields.

Farmers and orchardists have appealed to the government to send teams to assess the damage to their crops and provide financial assistance.

Meanwhile, other parts of the valley’s plains witnessed showers and a consequent dip in temperature in the afternoon.

Light snowfall was reported from hilly areas.

The weather office has forecast similar conditions for the next twenty-four hours. 

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