Hail began to fall when a band was playing on a tarpaulin-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 on their own, some parents were able to grab their children,” Carbonell said. Reuters. “Then a hailstone came through the fabric … and I told my group that we either went into the restaurant or one of those tennis balls was going to hit us and we weren’t going to make it.”
Broken bones and bruises were the most common injuries caused by the sudden bombardment. A 20-month-old girl died when one of the hailstones hit her in the head.
“We have had the appalling case of the girl who was hit by a stone,” the mayor of La Bisbal d’Empordà, Carme Vall, told the national network RTVE on Wednesday morning, according to reports from the Guardian. “Not much could be done for her and she died today. It was a terrible accident.”
Hailstones rarely kill or injure people, making Tuesday’s hailstorm in Spain highly unusual. Forecasts and warning systems generally allow people to take shelter, meaning most of the damage from hail is to cars and homes, and it can be significant.
The hailstorms that devastated Catalonia on Tuesday were 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 storms can be multi-billion dollar disasters, hitting roofs and shattering glass over a wide area. In 2022, at least two hailstorms have caused more than a billion dollars, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Surprisingly, those hail storms hit nearly the same area — parts of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin — just 10 days apart.
But dangerous hail storms have caused deaths and injuries in the United States before. In 2018, a hailstorm hit parts of Colorado, killing many animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and injuring at least 14 people.
“One person’s watch blew up when it was hit by hail, and another person was hit in the head so hard it dented his helmet,” said zoo executive director Bob Chastain.
Specifically, our XOM observer at Bisbal d’Empordà (El Baix Empordà) has recorded a maximum diameter of finstone of up to 10 cm. pic.twitter.com/oCpUQlRKfL
— Meteocat (@meteocat) August 30, 2022
Only three people are known to have died from hail in the United States, the weather blog reports. Category 6 in 2020.
The deadliest hail storm on record occurred in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1888. Hail the size of oranges fell, killing 246 people and hundreds of cattle, according to a report. report in the journal Weather, Climate, and Society.
the largest hail ever recorded in the United States fell in Vivian, SD, in 2010. The hail measured eight inches in diameter and was a record 1.9375 pounds, breaking 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 verified by the National Weather Service.
However, some think that large hailstones have fallen on Earth. A hail that fell in Argentina could have been up to 9.3 inches in diameter, meaning it would have broken the record, had it been verified. The storm produced at least a gigantic 7.1-inch stonewhich was safely stored in a freezer for official measurements.
“The hail lasted 20 minutes. It was a bit scary,” said Victoria Druetta, who grabbed the stone. She “she hit her and then she exploded and then she melted a little bit. It was probably even bigger.”
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