Vegetables worth around 500 million rupees are estimated to have been destroyed by hailstones in Dhankuta's Chhathar Rural Municipality and Mahalaxmi Municipality.

Locals said hailstones have deposited up to three feet since last evening.

According to Sidhuwa Cooperatives Chair Meghendra Gurung of Chhatharjorpati-6, vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, garlic, onion and green leaves have been destroyed.

Farmers estimated the damage somewhere at 130 million rupees in Mahalaxmi's Marekatahare, Dandagaun Murtidhunga and Leguwa Jitpur, Chhathar's Hatikharka, Parewadin Majhuwa Tankhuwa and Dhankuta's Ghirgaun and a few places.

"We had cultivated hybrid species of peas, and other vegetables; the hailstorm destroyed it all," lamented local Nil Bahadur Thapa, adding they hadn't seen such a hailstorm in the past 29 years.

"The hailstorm has not only destroyed vegetables, fruits and other plants, but it has also affected the cattle," said farmers. Technicians have said they will finish collecting details of the damage in a few days. "We will know for sure the extent of the damage once the details are collected. We can make plans as to how to help the farmers affected after that," said Chhathar Jorpati Rural Municipality Chair Sher Bahadur Limbu.

Farmers have said they were hopeful that the government would at least waive off the interest on the loans they had taken from banks and financial institutions and defer the date of loan payback.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.