Shopian: A brief but intense hailstorm wreaked havoc in Shopian and Kulgam villages, damaging vegetable and fruit crops, on Friday.
The hailstorm lasted for about ten minutes but it was so intense that it didn’t let anyone move from where they were standing.
Orchardists and other locals said that hailstones brought down fruit, leaves and even fruit buds from the trees. “The hailstones were so big that they wiped out the vegetables from the surface of the earth. Almost two to three inches of hailstones accumulated on the ground and didn’t melt till evening,” Javeed Ahmad, a local from Chai-Choland village of Shopian, told Kashmir Reader.
Orchardists said that about a dozen villages were heavily affected in the region which include villages in Shopian as well as in Kulgam.
The villages which were affected by the storm include Checki Choland, Padderpora, Nowpora Arew, Daderkot, Budgam and other adjoining villages.
This area is primarily dependent on fruit and vegetables farming. Affected farmers appealed to the lieutenant governor’s administration for compensation.
“The hailstorm even brought down the fruit buds which were meant for next year’s crop. Our sole income is fruit growing, where will we go if the government does not help us,” said Bashir Ahmad, a local who said he had taken Kisan loan from bank.
This was the first of it’s kind devastating hailstorm this year in the area and most intense in recent years.
A horticulture official told Kashmir Reader that the department is going to send a team to assess the damages and after the submission of report, it will be sent to higher authorities for relief and compensation.