Intense hailstorms affecting Kashmir Valley over the past couple of days have caused extensive losses to apple orchards and other fruit crops. While damage occurred almost everywhere in the valley, more than 40% of fruit crops were destroyed in the districts of Kulgam and Kupawara.
After above normal maximum temperature during most of May 14, the weather suddenly changed in the evening, with strong winds, rain, and hailstorms in many parts of the valley.
Manzoor Ahmad, a fruit grower from the Kulgam district said that the frequent hailstorm has left the entire community anguished as it has led to huge losses yet again.
"In the last couple of years, the growers have been suffering huge losses due to one reason or another," Ahmad told The Dispatch.
Director Horticulture, Kashmir Aijaz Ahmad Dar told KNO that South Kashmir's Kulgam district and Handwara area in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district have suffered 40% losses due to the hailstorm.
The worst-hit villages in the districts include Awgam, Zazripora, and Puniwah where damage to the maximum extent has taken place.
Other areas where moderate hailstorm damage has been reported are Nowpora, Daderkoot, Checki Hanjan, Hanjan, Sheganpora, Sofipora, Akipora, Behibagh, Srandoo, Arreh, Mohammadpora, Tazipora, Khandypora, Batapora, Jadipora Dedipora, Shurath, Laroo, Kharvot, Sangus, Akipora, and Awhatoo.
Featured image: Jammu and Kashmir, India on May 14, 2021. Credit: NOAA-20/VIIRS, TW