Four injured, roofs blown off, fruit trees and vegetable farms damaged in yesterday’s hailstorm

Four men were also injured in two separate vehicle accidents in and around Damphu town, Tsirang due to hailstones yesterday. According to sources, the thick hailstones on the roads have caused the vehicles to skid leading to accidents. While three men were discharged from Damphu Hospital yesterday, a man has been referred to Gelephu Hospital today after suffering injures on his backbone and chest. The powerful hailstorm reported in Tsirang also damaged several fruit trees, and vegetable farms, and blew off the roofs of a few houses. There are reports of such damages in Samdrup Jongkhar and Dagana as well.

In Kilkhorthang’s Sa-Tsangma Chiwog, the hailstorm has blown off the roofs of four households.

It has also damaged around 15 acres of vegetable farms belonging to 35 households and a few low-cost greenhouses in the chiwog. Farmers in the chiwog depend on vegetables to sustain their livelihoods.

“The hailstorm has destroyed vegetables which are ready for harvest. The remaining smaller ones will not grow well now since it has affected them badly. Moreover, even if it grows to some extent, it will also not fetch good prices due to its poor quality,” said Suk Man Lama, Sa-Tsangma Tshogpa.

“The weight of hailstones yesterday was around 300 grammes. This has developed holes in the roofs. It is not because of our CGI sheets being old or of poor quality,” said Norbu Yonjan, a resident.

Similarly, in Dunglagang Gewog, the heavy hailstorm has damaged vegetables on around two-and-a-half-acre land.

“Some plants are already two to three months old but they are totally destroyed now.  This time, I have invested around Nu 150,000 for hiring labourers and buying mulching plastics and greenhouses. So, I have done the plantation with a hope of generating around Nu 1 M but they have been totally lost now,” said B.M Pradhan, a vegetable grower.

There are also reports of crop and vegetable damage in Tsholingkhar and Rangthangling Gewogs. Hailstones have also shed flowers and leaves of mandarin, avocado, mango, and banana trees.

“Around 75 per cent of flowers and leaves of mandarin trees have fallen due to yesterday’s hailstorm. We used to fetch around Nu 500,000 ngultrum every year. The hailstorm will affect mandarin production badly this year,” said Mon Bdr. Dhahal, a mandarin grower in Gosarling Gewog.

Tsirang District Disaster Focal has yet to receive the formal reports. But the focal person said the gewog officials are in the fields to assess the extent of damages.

Meanwhile, Samdrup Jongkhar’s Langchenphu Gewog also reported the phenomenon yesterday afternoon. Although there are no formal reports, BBS learnt that the hailstorm has destroyed areca nut trees.

In Dagana, it has also destroyed mandarin orchards belonging to 30 households of Drujeygang’s Thangna Chiwog.

According to the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology, NCHM, the hailstorm was caused by a mix of cold northerly and warm southerly winds causing atmospheric instability which usually occurs in spring.

The NCHM added that a cyclonic circulation southwest of Bhutan led to moisture feeding into the southern regions, creating thick clouds ideal for hailstorms.

Windy conditions also increased dust particulates in the air, contributing to hailstone formation according to the centre.

It warns of possibilities of more thunderstorms on Sunday but they will have to do more monitoring to ascertain it.

Pema Tshewang, Tsirang           

Edited by Tshering Zam

Top Stories

Related Stories


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Comments