A Correspondent

KATTAPPANA: The expert team which visited Elamala near Kumily in Idukki district on Wednesday said that the cause of the hailstorm was a fall in evaporation level while the heat temperature in the high range did not show any decline in trend. This was due to the high-level of summer rains received in the area, they said. It assessed that the fall of heavy hailstones which resulted in widespread destruction of standing crops were a rare phenomenon.

The team also said that the fall of heavy hailstones had resulted in crop destruction and casualties in Northeastern parts of the country in April.

The heavy hailstones were a different version of the usual hailstorm and it is not a unique phenomenon, they said. The hailstorm in Elamala had resulted in widespread losses of crops especially cardamom. The initial estimate of losses suffered was around Rs.25 crore.

The expert team consisted Dr. G. Mohankumar, scientist, Centre for Earth Science Studies, Ajith Jacson, project officer, Kerala State Disaster Management Authority and its programme co-ordinator Remesh Krishnan.