A 20-month-old girl has died after being hit on the head during a violent hailstorm that wreaked havoc in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, authorities said Wednesday.
Fist-sized hail up to 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter fell on an area around the village of La Bisbal d’Emporda on Tuesday. They caused injuries – mostly broken bones and bruises – to around 50 other people, TV3 said.
“People started screaming and hiding,” said musician Sicus Carbonell, who filmed the storm’s destructive aftermath in Castell d’Emporda, a nearby hotel, where his band was playing on a canvas-covered terrace, when everyone she was forced to run for cover.
“It was chaos, with little boys and girls running around alone, some parents were able to grab their children,” he told Reuters.
“She was a three or four-year-old girl who did not take shelter under the sun umbrella. I ran and caught her…
“Then a hailstone tore through the material … and I told my group that we were either going into the restaurant or one of those tennis balls was going to land on us and we weren’t going to make it.”
The child who was hit in the head in La Bisbal d’Emporda died at Trueta Hospital in Girona, authorities there said.
The hailstorms were the heaviest recorded in two decades in Catalonia, according to Meteocat weather agency. Parts of the region remained under a storm watch on Wednesday.