Madrid — A 20-month-old girl died after being hit by a hailstone during an intense storm in northeast Spain, local officials said Wednesday. A hailstone “fell on her head” and “she did not survive,” Carme Vall, a city councilor in the Catalan town of La Bisbal de l’Emporda, told radio RAC1.
“The hail only fell for 10 minutes, but it was 10 minutes of terror,” she said, adding the hailstones that had fallen in the area were up to four inches wide.
“Only hailstones were falling, hardly any rain.”
The toddler was rushed to the Josep Trueta Hospital in the nearby city of Girona but died overnight from her injuries, the hospital said in a statement.
Catalonia’s weather office said the hailstones that fell in the area near Spain’s border with France were the largest seen in 20 years.
Video shot by a man taking shelter from the storm with others at a restaurant in the Girona region showed hailstones smashing into a wooden deck area as patrons gathered inside.
“This is not normal, gentlemen. It is not normal,” the man filming on his cell phone says. “God is coming soon. Repent, because God loves you.”
Images broadcast on Spanish television showed several cars with shattered windshields or dents in their roofs from the hailstones.
The stained glass windows of the town’s church were also shattered by the impact of the hailstones, photos released by the town hall showed.