Shimla: Heavy hailstorm in upper regions of the state has battered stone fruits and apples, causing huge losses to orchardists. A huge splash of hailstorm occurred in various villages of Karsog Tehsil in Mandi district on Sunday for few minutes causing massive damage to fruit crops.

According to local residents, the hailstorm was so intense that it tore anti-hail nets. Meanwhile, a heavy hailstorm was also reported in some areas of Theog and Rohru Sub Division on Saturday.

Orchardists had also suffered huge losses last year due to hailstorms and lockdown imposed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the State’s Horticulture Department, the Rs 4,500 crore apple economy suffered an estimated loss of Rs 1500 crores in 2020. As many as 2.75 crore apple boxes were produced in Himachal Pradesh in 2020 while in 2019 the state had produced around 3.5 crore apple boxes.

Light snowfall also occurred in higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu districts.

Manali on Sunday received 49 mm rain, highest in the state. Dalhousie witnessed 31mm rain, Jogindernagar 30mm, Dharamshala, Mandi, Palampur and Sujanpur Tira received 26 mm rain each, Nadaun and Solan received 23mm each, Shimla 21mm, Shilaroo 20 mm and Bilaspur received 11mm rain.

As per State’s Meterological Department snowfall in higher reaches and heavy rainfall in middle and lower hills are very likely to occur on April 20 and 21.

MET Department has issued a yellow warning resulting in hailstorms, thunderstorms along with gusty winds in middle and lower hills on April 20 and 21.

Weather in lower hills will be clear from April 22 onwards while rainfall will continue in middle and lower hills of the state on April 22 and 23.

The maximum temperature in Shimla on Sunday was is 19°C while in Kufri it was 11.9°C. Manali, Dharamshala and Dalhousie recorded 12.8°C, 20.6°C and 8.8°C.

Maximum temperature in Solan was 26°C, Bilaspur 27°C, Hamirpur recorded 26°C each, Mandi 21.3°C and Nahan 29.7°C respectively.

With 30.2°C maximum temperature, Una is the hottest place in the state while Keylong is the coldest place as it recorded minus 0.2°C minimum temperature.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.