Several houses destroyed, roofs swept away

The sudden rains followed by strong gales caused extensive damage to the mango groves in various parts of Karimnagar district on Monday night.

The ripe mangoes, which were ready for plucking, were damaged following the storm and rains. Similarly, the maize crop was also flattened in several acres of land.

Crop damage was also reported in Yellareddypet, Sircilla, Gambhiraopeta, Mustabad, Vemulawada, Metpally, Konaraopeta, Chandurthi and other mandals.

Several trees were uprooted following the rains in the mandals. The officials said that the teams would visit the rain-affected mango groves to assess the crop damage and submit a report to the government for providing necessary compensation.

Hailstorms coupled with strong gales hit Medak district on Tuesday causing intense damage to crops. There was no power supply in Sangareddy and Medak towns for several hours from afternoon onwards and it was not till late evening that the electricity returned.

However, no loss of life has been reported so far.

At many places, the roofs of houses were flung off and injured passersby on the road. Hailstones fell on vehicles and people, forcing them to take cover. An RTC bus coming to Sangareddy from Medak town was forced to stop for more than half an hour at Mambojipally as controlling the bus became a Herculean task due to the strong winds.

It was reported that the roofs of three poultry farms – two at Haveli Ghanapur and one at Patur- were swept away resulting in the death of a large number of chicks. The loss was estimated to be worth a few lakhs.

At many places, trees and electric poles fell on vehicles. Paddy, maize and mango crops were heavily damaged.

The traffic on Hyderabad road came to a standstill for quite some time. The district headquarters also witnessed heavy rain with hailstorm for more than an hour. Low- lying areas were inundated forcing people to clear out water from their residences at places like Nalsabgadda. At some places, wall collapses were also reported.

The district has received 7.4 cm rainfall in the past 24 hours while Jagadevpur recorded 62.2 mm rainfall.

According to the preliminary assessment of the agriculture and revenue authorities, paddy in over 10,000 hectares and maize in 7,500 hectares were damaged and about 300 houses were destroyed in the hailstorm in Banswada town and the surrounding villages in the district yesterday.

Cereals such as jowar, bajra and oilseed crops like sunflower and saffola were also damaged, but to a minimal extent. Minister for Major Irrigation P. Sudarshan Reddy, Collector Christina Z. Chongthu and Member of Parliament Suresh Shetkar and MLC D. Rajeswar made separate visits to the rain ravaged areas and bereaved families of Pranay and Venkatramulu who were killed due to wall collapses.

After visiting Ibrahimpet, Borgam and Pocharam villages, the Minister said that his government would come to the rescue of farmers who had lost crops due to untimely rains and ensure the sanction of new houses to those who had lost them. He announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh each to the bereaved families.

He assured the farmers of all possible help from the government. He was accompanied by Revenue Divisional Officer Mohan Reddy, Project Director, IKP, Venkatesam and the DCC president G. Gangadhar.

Meanwhile, 710 mm rainfall was recorded across the district yesterday. Kamareddy division recorded 245.0 mm followed by Nizamabad-240.60 mm, Kotagiri-80.80 mm, Sadasivanagar-47, Dichpally-46, Gandhari and Varni-42, Domakonda-40, Bodhan-25.20 mm and Banswada-17.06 mm.