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Hailstorm havoc in Bishnupr

A hotel roof which was blown away by the strong wind accompanied hailstorms on Monday evening at Saiton village in Bishnupur district. (Thingbaijam Dhamen)
Correspondent IMPHAL, OCT 14:
Published on 14 Oct. 2008 11:40 PM IST
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Hundreds of hectares of paddy fields and more than a couple of dozens of houses were destroyed Monday evening in Saiton area under Bishnupur district after a heavy hailstorm lashed the area. Though the extent of the damage caused by the hailstorm was yet to be officially calculated, villagers of Saiton area estimated the damage done to paddy fields at around 600 hectares and houses at 25. Four houses were seen severely damaged as the roofs were completely blown off and a front structure of a house totally fallen to ground. No human or animal casualties were reported in the one hour long downpour of hailstorms that suddenly started at around 4:30 p.m yesterday. However, one man who was trapped beneath a fallen house was rescued by the villagers. Villagers said the hailstorms measured the size of a human thumb. A model seed village taken up by the farmers of the area in collaboration with the agriculture office (Chemistry) of the state agriculture department with Integrated Pest Management, IPM was also destroyed. IPM officials who inspected the fields said that the productivity of the model seed villages would be reduced by around 40% as the hailstorm hit the standing crops at the ripening stage. The area covered by the IPM is only 35 hectares. Farmers were expecting a low harvest as most of the paddy plants were in an early flowering stage and the already ripe ones were severely damaged. Farmers expressed their disappointment with the state government for not turning up to assess the damage caused by the hailstorm.

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