Heavy hailstorm hits northern Armenian districts

Heavy hailstorm hits northern Armenian districts

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
10 Jun 04
[Presenter] A heavy hailstorm has hit Lori and Tavush Districts
[northern Armenia]. A shower of hailstones destroyed the potato and
grain fields and pastures within 10 minutes. The most affected villages
were (?Hakhvat), (?Sanahin) and (?Akner). As a result of the natural
disaster the roofs of many houses and buildings were destroyed.

[Correspondent, over video of hailstorm] The people of the Akner
village will not have potato and grain this autumn. About 30 ha
of potato and 30 ha of grain fields have been destroyed completely
by hail.

[A man, captioned as resident of village] There is no hope. I think
that this will not be restored. The region’s authorities have already
been informed about this. But this issue must be discussed and resolved
at the government level.

[Correspondent] The librarian is concerned about the fate of books –
10,000 books are in danger. The hail destroyed 70-80 per cent of the
roofs of the houses.

[Passage omitted: villagers complain about natural disaster]

[Presenter] A heavy hailstorm accompanied by heavy rain also hit the
Tavush District centre. The energy, drinking water and communications
systems were destroyed. Roads in the district were also destroyed. The
rain swept away animals, vehicles and roads. A 250-km section of the
Yerevan-Idzhevan highway was temporarily closed.

[Correspondent, over video of destroyed roads] The hail hit and
destroyed the roofs and windows of houses, vehicles parked in the
streets, and vineyards. This is explained by the unusual seize of
hailstones and intensity of the hail. According to local residents,
such a hailstorm was not recorded in the last 20 years. The first
restoration measures and work are already under way.

Employees of the district and regional emergency departments,
the Idzhevan road construction organization and regional interior
bodies took part in the rescue work. The state highway opened in the
midnight, the town’s power supply and communications were restored. The
restoration work is under way.

Gayane Tamanyan, “Aylur”.