A little girl has been killed by a huge hailstone in northeastern Spain.
“It is the first known case of a person being killed by hail in Spain,” the newspaper La Vanguardia (Thursday) quoted Professor José Luis Sánchez, a proven expert on this weather phenomenon from the University of León.
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The lumps of ice, which had a diameter of ten centimeters and weighed around half a kilogram, hit the ground at a speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour.
One of these bullets hit the two-year-old in the head in Bisbal d’Empordà, Catalonia. After a night in the hospital in Girona, she died of her serious injury on Wednesday. Several media had reported on the case.
Meteorologists described the size of the hailstones as a very rare and “historic” event.
Rows of cars with smashed front and rear windows and dented sheet metal could be seen on television. Skylights were destroyed and fallen tree leaves lay like a green carpet on the streets.
People escaped wherever they found shelter, some crawling under their cars. Videos of meter-high fountains when the ice lumps hit a swimming pool circulated on the Internet.
The hail formed in a vertical cloud up to 20 kilometers high. Strong rising winds drove the hailstones up again and again until they finally got so big that their sheer weight caused them to fall to the ground.
It was initially unclear whether such extreme hailstorms are a consequence of climate change.