Kuravilangad: A freak hailstorm, coupled with heavy rain and strong winds, battered parts of Kottayam earlier this week, causing widespread damage.
Kuravilangad, Mannakanad and Kurichithanam witnessed the hailstorm. The frozen rain drops pelted the thatched roofs and sheets of the houses with a loud noise.
The hailstones were found scattered along the courtyard of the Major Archiepiscopal Marth Mariam Archdeacon Pilgrim Church, panchayat bus stand and MC Road. Small shreds of ice to big chunks were found. It is been several years since a hailstorm was witnessed in this region, the elders of Kuravilangad said. The freak hailstorm took people by surprise, who got out to collect the hailstone paying little head to the strong wind and lightening.
The strong winds also caused widespread destruction in the Kuravilangad, Kurichithanam, Uzhavoor and Pious Mount regions. Trees were uprooted and these fell on the road at several areas, affecting traffic. Trees fell at three spots along the K R Narayanan Road at Marangattupilly panchayat.
Traffic along the Chettimattam-Pala Road was also disrupted for hours. Fire force personnel, police and the people worked in tandem to remove the trees. Roads at Kurichithanam were badly damaged. Traffic was restored along the main roads late into the night. The house of Prakash at Kozha was completely destroyed in the storm.
The extent of the agriculture loss is yet to be ascertained. Several teak trees, banana plants and rubber trees were also destroyed. Only after the agriculture department takes stock of the situation, there would be more clarity on the losses suffered.