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Large hail kills at least one, injures dozens in Spain

Large hail kills at least one, injures dozens in Spain
Written by boustamohamed31

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A sudden hailstorm in Spain’s Catalonia region sent people running for cover on Tuesday, with nearly 4-inch hail killing a toddler and injuring about 50 other people, according to a report from Reuters.

Hail the size of softballs hit the Spanish village of La Bisbal d’Empordà. Social media video shows the hail falling like rockets into a backyard pool, shooting large sprays into the air. Another video shows the effects of the hail, with several car windows broken by the falling ice.

The hail began to fall as a band played on a canvas-covered terrace at a local hotel, causing chaos in the venue, musician Sicus Carbonell told Reuters.

“There was chaos, with little boys and girls running around alone, some parents were able to grab their kids,” Carbonell said Reuters. “Then hail broke through the fabric … and I told my group that we were either going to go into the restaurant or one of those tennis balls was going to land on us and we weren’t going to make it.”

A storm brought massive hail to La Bisbal d’Empordà, Spain on August. 30, damaging cars and injuring residents. (Video: The Washington Post)

Broken bones and bruises were the most common injuries caused by the sudden barrage. A 20-month-old girl died after one of the hailstones hit her in the head.

“We had the terrible case of the little girl who was hit by a rock,” the mayor of La Bisbal d’Empordà, Carme Val, told Spain’s national broadcaster RTVE on Wednesday morning, according to a report from The Guardian. “Not much could be done for her and she passed away today. It was a terrible accident.

Five things you need to know about hail, like ‘yes – it happens in the summer’

Hail rarely kills or injures people, making Tuesday’s hailstorm in Spain very unusual. Forecasts and warning systems usually allow people to shelter in place, which means most hail damage is to cars and homes — and it can be significant.

The hailstorm that hit Catalonia on Tuesday was the largest recorded in Spain since at least 2002, according to the Catalan weather agency Meteocat tweeted. The thunderstorms that produced the hail were triggered by a cold front approaching western Europe from the Atlantic Ocean.

Hail can be multi-billion dollar disasters, knocking off roofs and breaking glass over a wide area. In 2022, at least two hailstorms caused more than $1 billion, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Remarkably, these hailstones hit nearly the same area — parts of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin — just 10 days apart.

In the nation’s ‘hail alley’, ferocious storms and booming growth are in a costly collision

But dangerous hail has caused deaths and injuries in the United States before. In 2018, a hail struck parts of Colorado, killing many animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and injuring at least 14 people.

“One man’s watch exploded when he was hit by hail, and another man was hit so hard in the head that it punctured his helmet,” zoo CEO Bob Chastain said.

Only three people are known to have been killed by hail in the United States, according to a weather blog report. Category 6 in 2020

The deadliest hailstorm on record occurred in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1888. Hail the size of oranges fell, killing 246 people and hundreds of livestock, according to report in the journal Weather, Climate, and Society.

Argentina’s ‘enormous’ hailstorm in 2018 may have broken the world record

The the biggest hail ever recorded in the United States fell in Vivian, SD, in 2010. The hail was eight inches in diameter and a record 1.9375 pounds, breaking the records set in 2003 and 1970, respectively. The hail was likely even larger , when it fell, as melting and sublimation caused the stone to shrink before it could be confirmed by the National Weather Service.

However, some believe that larger hailstones have fallen on Earth. Hail that fell in Argentina may have been up to 9.3 inches in diameter, meaning it would break the record if confirmed. The storm gave at least one huge, 7.1 inch stonewhich was safely stored in a freezer for official measurements.

“The hail lasted 20 minutes. It was kind of scary,” said Victoria Drueta, who picked up the rock. “It hit and then exploded and then melted a little bit. It was probably even bigger.

Expensive hail is growing fast. Here’s what the weather community is doing about it.

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