In the north, the Jammu-Srinagar highway was shut after fresh snowfall in Kashmir, and the weather department forecast rain and thunderstorms in Delhi.
Three people died in a hailstorm in parts of central Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha on Sunday, PTI reported. A senior revenue official said the storm began around 7.30 am and continued for 30 minutes.
“Namdev Shinde, a 65-year-old farmer from Vanjar Umrad village in Jalna tehsil, and Asaram Jagtap from Nivdunga village of Jafrabad tehsil, died because of the hailstorm,” Jalna District Collector Shivajirao Jondhale said. “As many as 180 villages in Jalna were badly hit”.
An unidentified Revenue Department official told PTI that one Yamunabai Humbad from Washim district died in her farm when the hailstorm hit.
There was heavy rain as well in Beed, Osmanabad, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli, Dhule, Nandurbar, Aurangabad and some other districts of Maharashtra on Sunday.
The storm severely damaged grapes, cotton, green gram and wheat crops. Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar has ordered an assessment of the damage. Fundkar said the government would hold a meeting with crop insurance companies on Monday.
The minister also directed administrative officials to visit every affected village, document the losses and file a report. “A sizeable loss of cattle and poultry has been reported,” an official of the Aurangabad Divisional Commissionerate said. “The damage assessment report will be finalised in a couple of days.”
Snowfall, thunderstorms in North India
The hailstorms in Maharashtra are being caused by an active western disturbance moving into India from Afghanistan, the weather department said. The department on Sunday issued hail and thunderstorm warnings in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, eastern Rajasthan and the Vidarbha region.
The same weather disturbance led to fresh snowfall in many areas of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. The arterial Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was shut for traffic, PTI reported.
Rain brought down temperatures in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi towns, while the higher areas recorded snowfall. In Shimla, the minimum temperature was 1.1 degrees Celsius, while it was minus one degree in Kinnaur district.
Uttarkhand also received fresh snowfall on Monday morning.
In Delhi, skies remained cloudy in the morning and afternoon. The weather department has predicted rain and thunderstorms towards the evening.
Northern Railways said 12 trains were cancelled and 13 were delayed as parts of north India were engulfed in fog in the morning.