SHILLONG, April 16: People of Shillong and neighbouring Ri Bhoi district witnessed peculiar weather throughout the day on Saturday. Sun, rain, hailstones, lightning, high velocity winds and other nature’s wrath all came down in equal intervals as people struggled to keep pace with the changes of the weather. In the morning, high velocity winds coupled with heavy rain and hailstones ravaged plants, wires of street poles, disturbed public and vehicle movement as all streets in town were literally laden with big sized hailstones. The Pine Mount Ridge was strewn with wrecked pines and branches of pine trees with hailstones. Such hailstone laden paths with torn off branches and leaves of trees was a common sight in every other road in the city.
Small children and the youth were seen collecting the large hailstones while showing each other their ‘prized possession’ as they don’t get to see such natural sight often. The youth were taking pictures on their smart phones from every possible direction while sharing them over social network. They were simply going crazy and captured everything possible. The hailstone laden paths were too good for them to pass up. Pedestrians had to navigate over these hailstones as stepping on them was emanating a sound mostly heard while walking in the woods. But all this had dropped the temperature considerably as many had to return to their woolen garments.
The ugliest sight however was the revelations of Shillong’s garbage menace. Almost all public drains were clogged as rainwater made its way out into the roads and footpaths. Most drains were clogged with the large sized hailstones which took quite some time to melt.
The force of the rainwater resulted in garbage flowing over some drains which indicates that the public does not care while dumping waste in these drains, which is otherwise only meant for carrying liquid wastes.
People had a tough time driving in this weather as those who were heading for Nongpoh and beyond had to park their vehicles on the roadside when the weather took an extremely dark look on Saturday morning followed by the hailstone and rainfall. One resident said that he was unable to drive to his farmhouse at Umiam because his vehicle’s front windshield was covered with rainwater and flying branches and leaves of trees besides being caught in the fierce wind that rendered his windshield wiper useless.
However, thereafter there was a bright spell of sunshine which was short lived and replaced by another spell of hailstones and rainfall albeit of a lesser intensity.