Aheavy hailstorm was reported on Friday in Tindharia region under Kurseong subdivision area in Darjeeling hills. The sudden hailstorm accompanied by rain, brought intense cold in Tindharia as well as in and around Kurseong region. Although the hailstorm was a sudden one in Tindharia and Kurseong areas, the weather remained cloudy and cold prevailed since early Friday morning.
Later, Tindharia region witnessed its first such massive hailstorm, that turned the area into a white blanket. An elderly local resident of Tindharia said, “In the mid 1970s, there had been heavy hailstorm in Tindharia region but during that time the size of the hails used to be larger.” Such hailstorms are very rare considering that Tindharia is a warm region. In Tindharia, several shops and private institutions were closed on Friday prior to their scheduled time.
Although, Kurseong region is known for heavy hailstorms, Friday’s hailstorm was a light one accompanied by drizzles at around 12 noon. Mild hailstorm and rain were also reported in some other parts of Darjeeling hills. Meanwhile, due to the hailstorm and sudden drop in temperature, people were seen warming themselves by lighting firewood in Kurseong region. Reportedly, public transport and toy train services were affected in Tindharia region for several hours due to the hailstorm and rain.
A local resident of Kurseong town, Sunil Sharma, said, “A sudden weather change was seen along with hailstorm and cold wind. This has forced me to stay inside the house.” Another local was of the view that although the weather was cold, it was enjoyable. Despite the chill and cold waves as well as the slippery roads at different places in Tindharia region, the locals, mainly children, came out on the streets from their houses to enjoy the hailstorm.
Children were seen shaping out different figures out of the hailstones. Locals and some tourists were also seen taking photographs with their friends and family in Tindharia in the heavy hailstorm.