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31 Aug, 2022 18:13

Toddler killed in freak hailstorm (VIDEOS)

Some 50 people were injured in Spain by massive hailstones measuring up to 10cm in diameter
Toddler killed in freak hailstorm (VIDEOS)

A heavy hailstorm battered the Spanish region of Catalonia late on Tuesday, injuring dozens of people and killing a 20-month-old girl. The storm was the most severe in at least two decades, the local meteorological agency Meteocat said. 

Although the storm lasted for only around ten minutes, it was extremely intense and some of the hailstones were unusually large. Some 50 people across the region suffered various injuries, including fractured bones and bruises. 

Meteocat said the hailstorm was a “historic” disaster for the region, the worst such occurrence in at least two decades. The agency published photos of hailstones, with the largest measuring some 10cm in diameter. 

The largest specimen was collected in the town of La Bisbal d'Emporda, where a toddler girl died in a hospital after suffering a direct hit to the head from a hailstone.

“We’ve had the awful case of the little girl who was hit by a stone,” the town’s mayor, Carme Vall, told the broadcaster RTVE on Wednesday. “There wasn’t much that could be done for her and she died today. It was a terrible accident.”

The storm also inflicted material damage, with multiple stones breaking through roofs and other structures. Catalonia’s regional firefighting service said it had received 39 calls from La Bisbal d’Emporda alone overnight, with two calls also coming from the nearby town of Forallac. The emergency service said power lines were severed and roofs damaged in some locations.