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18 February, 2019 12:47:52 AM
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Hailstorms kill two, ruin crops

Staff Reporter, Dhaka with Our Correspondents
Hailstorms kill two, ruin crops
A magpie lies dead (inset) on a pile of hailstorm while three people on the hailstorm-covered area outside their house at Puthia in Rajshahi pose for a photograph yesterday. Independent Photo

A hailstorm lashed various parts of the country, including Dhaka, Rajshahi and Noakhali, yesterday morning under the influence of a seasonal low that lies over South Bay. Two persons were killed in the natural calamity, which also damaged crops. In Baorcourt village  of Noakhali, a man and his nephew died after being struck by lightning. The deceased were identified as Noman Hossain (45) and Saiful Islam (12). Quoting locals, Sonaimuri police station officer-in-charge Abdus Samad said a streak of lightning hit the duo at noon when they were watering a paddy field. Dhaka experienced 20 mm of rainfall coupled with hail

storm and temporary gusty winds. Several areas of the capital were inundated due to the rain, inconveniencing school, college and officers-goers. The rainfall occurred as the trough of westerly low lies over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh, according to the Met office.

In its latest bulletin, the Met office said rain and thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty wind, are likely to occur at a few places over Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barishal and Mymensingh divisions. The night temperature may fall by (1-2)0C across the country, it said.

In Rajshahi, sudden rain and hailstorm yesterday morning damaged mango buds, paddy and vegetables, causing huge losses to farmers. After waking up in the morning, people of Puthia and Paba upazilas of the district saw their roads and fields covered in a sheet of white. Many people from other areas gathered to see the spectacle, which went viral on the social media. Motalleb Hossain, a 60-year-old farmer of Geopara village under Puthia upazila, said he has never seen such a scene before in his life.

Mynul Hossain, a college student of the area, said: “We used to see snowfall only on television. But after last night’s hailstorm, it felt like there was snowfall in our village.”  On the other hand, the unseasonal rain and hailstorm have destroyed standing crops in nine upazillas. According to mango farmers, mango blooms were destroyed at Bagha, Charghat, Tanore, Godagari, Puthia and Paba areas of the district. Mango growers claimed the hailstorm damaged at least 20% buds in various orchards of the district. “It is not possible to recover our losses,” said Abdul Jalil, a mango farmer of Puthia upazila.

Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of the Rajshahi Fruit Research Centre, said almost 10 per cent of mango buds in the Rajshahi region had been destroyed due to hailstorm and northwester last year. He, however, added that Sunday’s hailstorm would not affect mango production much in the district.

Owing to favourable weather conditions, mango buds of various varieties in Rajshahi district have bloomed this year, making the growers hopeful of a good yield. Nazrul Islam, senior observer of the Rajshahi Met office, said the hailstorm with lightning lasted from 4:40am to 5:18am. But there was no breeze during the rain. However, the Met office recorded 17 mm rainfall in Rajshahi in the last 24 hours.  “There is still cloud cover in the sky and it may rain again,” said Nazrul Islam.

MK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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