The toll in the freak rains and hailstorm that lashed some parts of Telangana rose to seven with two more deaths coming to light on Wednesday, one each from Nizamabad and Medak districts.

Twenty-three persons were injured in different freak accidents caused by the strong gales that accompanied the rains.

The fresh death reported from Nizamabad was that of a woman caused by lightning. The district now accounts for five casualties, whereas there was one death each in Hyderabad and Medak. The rains and strong winds destroyed over 350 houses, most of them in Nizamabad, and 26 buffaloes, sheep, bullocks perished.

Huge damage to crops

A rough estimate by the government based on preliminary reports sent by the Collectors indicated that crops over an extent of nearly 50,000 acres had been damaged. The crops affected included paddy, maize, sesamum and sunflower. Horticultural crops, particularly mango, were damaged in over an extent of 2,500 acres. T. Radha, Disaster Management Commissioner, said the full extent of the damage would be known only after enumeration by revenue officials.

The rains and hailstorm lashed parts of Telangana for the second consecutive day on Wednesday. There were clouds of dust in several localities of Hyderabad as a result of the strong gales that preceded the rains. The localities experienced a downpour for more than an hour around midnight, leaving many low-lying roads inundated by morning.

Some relief

Besides reducing the demand for power and providing some relief to AP Transco which was struggling to meet the heavy load, the rains have also mitigated the hardships faced by residents of a number of apartments in respect of groundwater availability.

Hyderabad Airport area, Golconda, Hakimpet recorded 4 cm of rainfall each, Medak, Kamareddy 3 cm each and Vikarabad and Medchal one cm each. There were isolated spells of rain in Rayalaseema with Tadipatri and Arogyavaram reporting a rainfall of 3 cm each. However, this region reeled under dry weather with Anantapur recording temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, the State’s highest for the day.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was in Nellore participating in Indiramma Baata, was kept posted with details about the loss of life and crops.