Central Vietnam gets heavy hailstorms amid crushing drought

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A photo shows parts of a house in Binh Dinh Province collapsed due to a hailstorm on April 23, 2016. Photo: Tri Anh A photo shows parts of a house in Binh Dinh Province collapsed due to a hailstorm on April 23, 2016. Photo: Tri Anh

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Several provinces in the central region were hit by the worst hailstorms in many years Friday and Saturday, which damaged houses and destroyed large areas of farmland.
A hailstorm of half an hour on Saturday afternoon damaged dozens of house roofs and more than 100 hectares of plantation. It also pulled down more than 50 utility poles.
Kon Tum Province in the Central Highlands also experienced around one hour of downpour with ice balls as big as four centimeters in diameter in the afternoon.
Tay Giang mountainous district in Quang Nam Province meanwhile received a hailstorm that poured for two hours, combining with strong winds to damage at least ten hectares of rice fields and more than 70 hectares of other plants. Road and drainage erosion has been reported.
Locals said ice balls of around five centimeters in diameter fell constantly on their roofs.
“They said they have never seen such a heavy hailstorm,” Le Hoang Linh, the district vice chairman, told news website VnExpress.
Another hailstorm on Friday damaged 700 hectares of rice and sugarcane fields in Thua Thien-Hue Province after pouring for half an hour.
A local official said it was the worst in more than 40 years.
No one was injured, according to initial reports.
The hailstorms, while bringing a little cool air, have only raised to the severe agriculture damage the region is dealing with amid the record dry weather.
Vietnam is going through the worst drought in 90 years. Some 70 percent of agriculture land in the Central Highlands and south central provinces, which are the main producers of the country’s prime exports of coffee and pepper, have been destroyed.

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