During a terrifying storm in Spain, a one-year-old girl was killed after being struck by a four-inch hailstone. This is the latest extreme weather incident to hit the nation.
Thirty people were injured, including the toddler, when hailstones struck them directly in and around the Catalan town of La Bisbal de l’Emporda.
She was taken to Girona’s Josep Trueta Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, but she died early Wednesday morning as a result of severe head trauma.
On Wednesday, a woman remained in the same hospital due to injuries sustained in the devastating hailstorm.
The majority of the other 28 people who required medical attention were said to have suffered head injuries or ice cuts that required stitches, as well as broken bones.
The tennis ball-sized stones also smashed roof tiles and dented solar panels on many cars and buildings.
The hailstones that fell in the area, near the tourist city of Girona, near Spain’s border with France, were the largest in twenty years, according to Catalan weather officials.
The deluge began around 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday, and the 20-month-old girl was killed a few minutes later. The hail storm lasted approximately 15 minutes.
According to Murcia Today, she was rushed to the hospital but died on Wednesday morning as a result of severe head trauma.
The toddler’s nationality and the precise location where she was when she was killed by hailstones are unknown.
According to the Spanish news outlet, firefighters responded to more than 40 emergency calls “due to various damage to buildings and wiring,” as well as to assist “in the assistance of the injured.”
Images and video from the area showed massive hail stones slamming into the ground at high speeds, frequently exploding on impact.
The streets were littered with ice and shattered glass from hit-and-run vehicles.
The stones are seen landing in a swimming pool in one video, causing water to burst into the air. Another video showed hail pelting the grass in a garden.
A loud ‘thud’ can be heard as each one hits the ground. In videos of hail stones hitting harder surfaces, the impact sounds more like gunshots.
Some people took to social media to share photos of themselves measuring the hail stones. A one-euro coin was dropped on the ground, but it was dwarfed by the ice balls.
Another person measured the diameter of two hail stones placed next to an egg. The stone was about six inches wide at its widest point, according to the tape measure.
More storms were forecast for the region on Wednesday. Following severe heatwaves on land and in the Mediterranean Sea this summer, heavy storms have been predicted for eastern Spain.