Five Lives Lost, Crops Damaged Due To Hailstorm In Bihar
April 9th, 2018
Golf ball sized hailstones covered the ground with a sheet of white in several districts of Bihar on Saturday. It was around 6:30 am when this unusual weather made its presence felt in Gopalganj and parts of Champaran before making its way towards Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur and several other districts. The state capital Patna reported temperature up to 5 degrees below average. Amazements of kids and adults alike was short lived after reports of lives lost due to the hailstorm and and crops damaged in the rains started pouring.
The 75-110 km/h winds and thunderstorm led to the loss of at least five lives including an elderly woman who died due to being hit on her head by hailstones. Three of the dead were from Vaishali district alone.
Farmers who were yet to harvest wheat in their fields were the worst hit as many mangoes, litchis and seasonal vegetable crops were damaged.
As reported by The Telegraph, District Magistrate of Gopalganj, Rahul Kumar said, “IMD had forecast the storm 48 hours ahead. Accordingly, information was shared with the public. The hailstorm hit Baikunthpur and Sedalia areas while a thunderstorm hit remaining places in the district. Crop damage is being assessed.”
The distressed farmers, enraged by the crop damage and alleging that no weather warning reached them, came out protesting. As reported by News18, farmers blocked parts of Muzaffarpur-Chapra road and demanded compensation for their lost crops from the government. The blockade was removed only after the administration made assurances of payment for crops and lost lives.
According to reports, the state agriculture minister, Prem Kumar said, “All agriculture and horticulture officials have been asked to assess damage and submit a report as soon as possible. We are keeping a watch on the situation.”
Sudden bursts of bad weather have been halting lives in several parts of the country in the last few days including Delhi and Patna that were hit by dust storms. The weather department had issued low-intensity alerts for Sunday and Monday in parts of Bihar.