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Hailstorm havoc in Northeast, 60 houses damaged around Changtongya; poles downed

(From left) A house seen damaged by storm in Changtongya on Tuesday. (NP) Hail storm lashed Guwahati forcing people to take shelter and bringing down temperature in the city. (EP) Bits of hail storm are seen on the ground in Dimapur, Tuesday. (NP)
Dimapur, Mar 30 (NPN/Agencies)
Published on 31 Mar. 2010 12:07 AM IST
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A pre-monsoon hailstorm accompanied by strong winds lashed several parts of North East including Nagaland destroying hundred of houses ,uprooting a large number of trees, electric and telephone and also badly damaged .
In Nagaland, at least 60 houses were severely damaged including 21 houses in Changtongya town and 39 houses in Akhoya village, Mokokchung by a strong cyclonic storm coupled with heavy hailstorm.
Initial reports estimated that properties worth several lakhs of rupees were destroyed by hailstorm.
The extreme storm also reportedly left two persons injured. They were later identified as one Sharon (11), a class-V student of St. John high school, Changtongya and one Purlemla (55), wife of Imsunungsang of Akhoya village. Both the victims were reportedly out of danger.
Many electric and telephone posts along with trees were grounded by the storm. RCC security fencing at BSNL exchange, Changtongya was also badly damaged.
Hailstorm lashed Dimapur in the evening where many citizens rushed out to collect bits of hailstorm in their hands. Teenagers were seen getting themselves drenched in the rain. However, there were no reports of any damage to properties or injury to humans till the time of filing this report.
“The Nor’wester (cyclonic rainstorm) would continue till the onset of monsoon. The seasonal Nor’wester is now active in entire eastern and northeast India and few other places in the country,” Meteorological Department Director Dilip Saha told IANS.
Officials in the State capitals said the seasonal cyclonic rainstorm accompanied by heavy lightning, which lashed the State on Sunday and Monday night, also killed one person and injured many. Many cattle were also killed.
In Tripura, one person was killed and seven others injured while over 200 houses were damaged and trees and electric posts uprooted in a severe storm in Tripura last night, police said today. The injured were shifted to hospital.
Purnaram Reang (21) was killed and his wife Anjuti was seriously injured when lightning struck them at Paharpur, a remote tribal hamlet in South Tripura district. Anjuti was admitted to Amarpur sub-divisional hospital in critical condition, police said.
Five cows perished in the storm which razed at least 200 houses to the ground besides uprooting 150 electric posts and over 160 trees in different parts of the state due to strong wind and heavy rains which lashed the state yesterday.
However, Sunday’s rain brought relief to the farmers as their croplands had dried up due to scarcity of rain and heat wave, sources in State Agriculture department said.
“Lightning and thunder, accompanied by high velocity winds, lashed entire Tripura during the past two days, damaging standing crops and uprooting electric poles, telephone lines and big trees besides destroying over 300 houses,” an official of the State relief department said. In Mizoram, over 1000 houses were destroyed and at least 20 people injured in the cyclonic rainstorm across mountainous Aizawl, Kolasib, Serchhip and Lunglei districts.
“The worst-hit area was the northeastern part of the State under Aizawl district adjoining Manipur, where at least 400 houses were completely damaged,” Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said in the State Assembly.
North eastern part of the state was worst hit by the storm which ravaged more than 400 houses on Sunday night where hails as big as eggs landed on the GCI-roof tops causing heavy damage to the human dwellings in this part of Aizawl district adjoining Manipur.
Saiha town was hit by hailstorm midday today in which several houses were damaged, police said. The extent of damage was yet to be ascertained as communication lines were snapped by the storm. Other districts like Serchhip, Kolasib, Lunglei and Saiha were also not spared as more reports on the devastation poured in despite communication problems.
Cell phone network system was disrupted following the storm hitting Aizawl district and many villages remained incommunicado.Power supply was also disrupted in some places as electric poles and lines were damaged by the storm.
The cyclonic storm also ripped through Manipur, damaging at least 400 houses and injuring 15 people, mostly women and children.
An official said Ukhrul and Imphal West districts were the worst hit.
Hailstorm also lashed Guwahati on Tuesday. (With inputs from IANS and PTI)

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