A 1-year-old girl died Wednesday after getting hit by a giant hailstone amid a freak storm that battered Eastern Spain on Tuesday.
The toddler had reportedly been struck by an ice ball that measured 4 inches in diameter — the size of an orange — during the “short but very intense” deluge that struck Catalonia around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, per Spanish site Murcia Today. She was subsequently rushed to a local hospital but died due to severe head trauma Wednesday morning.
The 20-month-old tot wasn’t the only one impacted by the extreme weather, which meteorological services have described as the worst hail storm in two decades. Another 50 people were reportedly injured by the falling ice with some suffering broken bones, the Independent reported. Meanwhile, one woman remains in the hospital while the local primary care center treated 28 patients for cuts and bruises.
All told, firefighters reportedly fielded more than 40 calls for both “assistance to the injured,” as well as damage to buildings, wiring and other property.
In addition, the humongous hail also reportedly struck branches off trees, smashed bocce-ball-sized holes in car windshields and pounded public squares. In one apocalyptic clip circulating on local media, the ice orbs can be seen creating giant splashes in a pool like frozen depth charges.
The dangerous ice capades may not be over yet, either. According to Murcia Today, several areas of Catalonia remain on high alert for “violent weather,” including “the possibility of hailstones over 2 centimetres, winds of more than 25 metres per second [55 mph], and tornadoes.” Meanwhile, Barcelona is currently on “orange alert,” or major risk, for severe rainfall.
Unfortunately, the extreme heat that plagued Spain over the summer is slated to continue with the country gearing up for a fall that’s 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than average.
In May, the US Midwest was battered by a freak hailstorm, with the Minnesota area getting pelted with ice clumps larger than baseballs.
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