The worst hit were the chilli farmers from Palnadu region
Unseasonable rain triggered by a trough of low pressure over Bay of Bengal lashed the district bringing down day temperature. But, it caused widespread damage to standing crop in most parts of the district.
The district received an average rainfall of 3.8 mm with Rompicharla mandal receiving the maximum amount of rainfall of 4 cm.
Two farm labourers, both women, died when thunderbolts struck them in separate incidents at Arepalli village of Cherukupalli and at Pathakolimerla village in Kakumanu mandal taking the death toll in rain-related incidents in the district to seven.
On Sunday, three farm labourers were killed after being struck by lightning. Two persons were killed on Saturday.
A spell of moderate to heavy rainfall was witnessed in Guntur in the morning. Heavy gale uprooted trees and electric poles on Lakshmipuram Main Road and caused traffic snarls. The lack of efficient storm water drainage system caused cess pools of rainwater along the main roads.
Elsewhere in the district, the rain caused widespread damage to standing crops. In Kollipara, banana plantations were flattened as heavy rain accompanied by strong gale uprooted trees. Heaps of paddy lay submerged under sheets of water in Bapatla mandal.
The worst hit were the chilli farmers from Palnadu region who bore the brunt of the damage.
Farmers had little time to shift chilli usually dried on patches of dry ground and the crop loss was reported to be at least 3-5 quintals per acre. Chilli crop at Kunkalaguntla village in Nakerekallu mandal was damaged by a hailstorm.
The chilli yard in Guntur witnessed hectic activity as farmers tried to shift the rain-soaked chilli bags to safer places.
Control room set up
District Collector S. Suresh Kumar, who took stock of the situation on Monday morning, instructed Tehsildars to be alert in view of the prevailing weather conditions. A control room was opened at the Collectorate, he added.