More than 100 people were injured in Italy after hail the size of tennis ball landed on towns and villages in the northern Veneto region, according to CNN. The hailstones, up to 10 cm in diametre, took local authorities by surprise, regional president Luca Zaia was quoted as saying by the outlet. Emergency services received more than 500 calls for help after properties and locals were injured in some cities. Videos of the giant hailstorms in Padova in Veneto have appeared on social media and are gaining traction.
Several windows were broken and trees damaged in the sudden storm, the CNN report further said.
“The wave of bad weather, after having impacted our mountain regions, has now also hit the plains, causing injury to some people,” Mr Zaia said, adding that most injuries were caused by broken glass and people slipping on the hailstones.
❌❌❌ LA DEVASTAZIONE DELLA GRANDINE IN VENETO! ❌❌❌
❄️ La grandine caduta è stata assolutamente fuori dal comune, fino a 10 cm di diametro.
👉 Inserirò in mattinata tutti i comuni colpiti dalla grandine nello Stato di Emergenza Regionale firmato ieri per il Bellunese. pic.twitter.com/YFnlM8guXA
— Luca Zaia (@zaiapresidente) July 20, 2023
He also thanked rescuers who intervened and started the restoration work.
The affected region also reported winds reaching 140 kmph.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica described trees “snapped like toothpicks” and sheet metal roofing “ripped from houses” before landing several hundred metres away.
Grandine..ma quella seria però 💥 pic.twitter.com/bGfPzhWGv9
— Mario ‘e picone (@mimanda_picone) July 19, 2023
While Italy witnessed hailstorms and rain, other parts of Europe baked in a heatwave trailed by wildfires.
Firefighters battled blazes in parts of Greece and the Canary Islands, Spain issued heat alerts and several local temperature records were broken in southern France.
Meteo France said a record 29.5 degree Celsius had been reached in the Alpine ski resort of Alpe d’Huez, which sits at an altitude of 1,860 metres, while 40.6 degrees Celsius had been recorded for the first time in Verdun in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
In a stark reminder of the effects of global warming, the UN’s World Meteorological Agency (WMO) said the trend of heatwaves “shows no signs of decreasing”.
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