Properties, gardens destroyed near Hagen

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 3, 2010

MANY people and properties worth thousands of kina have been affected by hailstorm in Western Highlands since last month.
The number of people affected could be more than 5,000 with properties destroyed worth thousands of kina.
More than 5,000 people from the Moge Pangump clan, who live outside Mt Hagen city, were affected and their properties, food gardens and coffee trees were destroyed by a hailstorm.
A huge hailstorm associated with heavy rains hit the Baisu village causing damage to the people and properties.
The disaster was described as the biggest because it took two days for the ice to melt causing food crops to decay.
Spokesperson William Las Kunjil told The National yesterday that this was the first of its kind for the villagers to experience such a disaster.
He said people were in their house when the disaster hit them causing fear among the people.
“The hailstorm, which started at 3pm, lasted two hours,” Kunjil said.
He said huge blocks of ice were still at their gardens and the people were removing them slowly.
Kunjil said his people would suffer because all their food gardens were destroyed in the storm.
He said they would need assistant from the government because most of them depended on garden food to survive.
Kunjil said the cost of property damaged stood at K50,000 and people were still waiting for relief supplies and donations.
He said the land was well known for growing vegetables and coffee and such a disaster was causing the people to suffer.
Kunjil said many parts of the province were prone to hailstorms and urged people to take precautions.