VIJAYAWADA: Heavy rain and hailstorm that lashed parts of Anantapur, Kurnool, Prakasam, Chittoor, Kadapa, Krishna and Guntur districts since Monday night, damaged standing crops and horticulture plantations in hundreds of acres.
The downpour accompanied by gales pounded Prakasam district for about an hour, uprooting trees and electric poles and causing power outages for several hours. Mangoes ready for harvest were damaged in several acres in Ulavapadu, Singarayakonda, Kanigiri and other mandals. Enumeration of losses will be taken up to assess the extent of damage in the next couple of days, officials said.
Normal life was hit in Macherla of Guntur district since Monday night due to heavy rain. At some places, uprooted trees and electric wires fell on the roads. Since morning, there has been no power supply in most of the the region. A couple of houses also suffered damage when asbestos sheets were blown away and iron poles fell on the roofs. Wrenched hoardings fell on the nearby trees. Gurajala and Mangalagiri areas of the district also witnessed intermittent rain since morning. Agriculture and horticulture officials said barring a few acres of banana plantations, there was no major damage to crops.
Heavy rain also lashed various parts of Kurnool district from where extensive crop loss was reported. Same is the case with neighbouring Anantapur district, which witnessed extensive damage to crops. Agriculture minister Prathipati Pulla Rao, who took stock of the situation along with ministers Paritala Sunita and Palle Raghunath Reddy, assured government help to farmers. Papaya and paddy crops suffered damage. Poultry, sheep and goat farms in the district suffered losses. He said the district, along with Kurnool and Srikakulam districts, had suffered the most due to unseasonal rain. Crop damage was reported in about 370 acres in Anantapur.
Hailstorm lashed Duvur and other parts of Kadapa district while rain left tomato and mango farmers in Chittoor district in the lurch with heavy losses. Parts of Krishna district including Tiruvuru, Nuzvid and Nandigama also witnessed rain. Hailstorm was reported from Nandigama while parts of Vijayawada received early morning showers.