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April 21, 2018

Rain, hailstorm hit crops in Peshawar

Peshawar

April 21, 2018

PESHAWAR: Farmers in the plains of about five districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suffered heavy losses where rain and hailstorm wreaked havoc and caused damage to standing crops.

The rain that started late Tuesday night caused damage to houses and destroyed standing crops on a vast swathe of land in the low-lying areas and plains of the Peshawar valley.

The sporadic hailstorm that hit scattered areas of Peshawar, Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda and Nowshera damaged the ripe crop of wheat in these districts.

The rain and sporadic hail in the last three days, accompanied by strong winds, flattened the wheat crop in these areas causing huger losses to the farmers.

The rains that lashed a large part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the last three days spelled disaster for farmers, who already sustained losses due to the low prices of sugarcane. “My crop of wheat has been flattened to the ground, which will hardly produce the desired grain,” Gohar Ali, a farmer in Nasapa village said.

The torrential rain hit Peshawar on Friday and the provincial metropolis received 23 millimeter (mm) rain. The city roads and drainages were flooded by rainwater even in the wee hours of the day due to overnight downpour.

In the Peshawar division, heavy rain and hailstorm was reported during the last 24 hours and around four houses were partially damaged with no human losses reported.

However, the government has not taken notice of the damage to the standing crops and no assessment initiated in this regard.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the current month two spells of widespread rains and thunderstorm occurred and torrential rains with hailstorm spell along with gusty winds were reported from different divisions on Friday.

The Met regional office also reported widespread rain and thunderstorm with gusty winds that occurred in Hazara, Malakand, Mardan, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan divisions and Mohmand, Bajaur, Kurram, Khyber, Orakzai, North and South Waziristan agencies in Fata.

It recorded 65mm rain in Kakul, 42 mm in Pattan, 41 mm in Cherat, 35 mm rain in Balakot, 32 mm in Risalpur, 29 mm each in Malam Jabba and Saidu Sharif, 24 mm in Kalam, 19 mm in Upper Dir, 15 mm in Mir Khani, 14 mm in Timergara, 11 mm in Kohat, 4 mm in Drosh, 3 mm each in Bannu and Chitral and 1 mm rain has been recorded in Parachinar.

April is the month when wheat crop is “waxy-ripe or yellow-ripe” and in some areas where early varieties are sown the crop is grain-filled and ripen, but the rain, winds and hail have dashed the hopes of many farmers to harvest their crops.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) reported that heavy rain with thunderstorm has partially damaged one house which was reported and slight raining hit Bannu, Malakand while in Chitral fresh snowfall in Besgram, Karimabad has also been reported.

The authority reported that as a result of widespread rains and land-sliding in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa two persons have been killed and one injured while five houses were damaged.

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