Hailstone mistaken for 'mysterious object', villagers panic

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Kottayam, Mar 11 (UNI) The villagers at Kakkoor near Nattakom here panicked after witnessing a large ''mysterious''object falling from the sky today- a huge ice block.

Ms Pennamma, a housewife, said she heard a loud sound while washing clothes and saw 'an object' falling on the ground with a thud.

She then noticed pieces of ice blocks scattered all around. She was frightened and ran into the house when a piece also hit her leg.

One piece was four ft in length and two ft thick, she said.

However, old people considered it an indication of good rainfall in the coming days.

Several people reached the spot to see the ''mysterious ice block.'' According to Meteorologist Shammy Raj, falling of a big hailstone (big ice block) was an isolated incident in Kerala but a common phenomenon in the North Eastern states.

Hailstones (known as 'Alipazham' in Kerala) normally fall in March -April.

Dr Raj said during the season, Cumulo Nimbus Clouds (CB Clouds) were formed due to the process of accumulation of dust particles in the atmosphere. These particles would float five to seven km in the atmosphere, due to a phenomenon called updraft and downdraft.

During updraft, ice particles would form around the clouds and a few of them would fall down. While falling down, most of the hailstones melted but few fell, he added.

The ice block, which fell here was a big hailstone, he said, adding a similar hailstone fall had occurred at Thiruvananthapuram earlier.

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