Freak rains, hailstorm attributed to fluctuations in atmosphere due to sudden variations in air pressure

Freak rains and hailstorm accompanied by strong gales lashed parts of Telangana on Tuesday, killing four persons in Nizamabad and one in Hyderabad, besides damaging crops over large extent of area in the district and neighbouring Karimnagar and Medak districts. Two of them, including a child, were killed in a wall collapse while the remaining two due to lightning.

According to reports received by the government, isolated thundershowers battered several places in the State, particularly parts of Telangana, as a pre-peak summer phenomenon, damaging crops in the three districts. The rain, however, gave some relief from scorching summer in many areas and reduced the demand for electricity temporarily. There were rains and gales in Hyderabad also in the evening, resulting in inundation of some low-lying areas.

Major Irrigation Minister P. Sudarshan Reddy, who had just returned to the city from Nellore after participating in a function attended by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, rushed to Nizamabad after coming to know about the havoc wreaked by the hailstorm there. Nizamabad recorded a rainfall of 5.7 cm, quite unusual around this time of the season. The freak phenomenon also damaged nearly 325 houses in the district. Officials at the State Met Office attributed the freak rains and hailstorm to the fluctuations in atmosphere due to sudden variations in air pressure, a phenomenon often experienced before the onset of the peak summer. They said the thunderstorm activity would continue for another one or two days. T. Radha, Commissioner, Disaster Management, said ex gratia would be paid to the affected families of the deceased and compensation paid to the farmers whose crops were damaged, in the form of input subsidy. Revenue officials would be asked to commence enumeration immeiately to extend relief to the affected families.

Class III student killed

Meanwhile, sudden showers with strong winds that lashed city left an eight-year-old girl dead in Chaitanyapuri on Tuesday after an electric pole and snapped wires fell on her. A class III student of a private school, Renu Sree was returning home around 3.15 p.m. when a roadside tree got uprooted due to strong winds and fell on an electric pole. “The pole too got uprooted and fell on the girl along with the snapped live wires,” the police said.

She was rushed to Osmania General Hospital by 108 ambulance. The girl died while undergoing treatment after a few hours.