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Pics: giant hailstones batter French village, two people injured

Homes and vehicles damaged as hail tears through roofs and smashes greenhouse windows

Hail that was up to 5cm in diameter hit the village yesterday evening Pic: Silvia Aftene

A localised hail storm that hit a small village in the north east of France caused “extensive damage” and left two injured yesterday evening (August 24). 

The flash storm lasted less than 15 minutes, but saw hail of up to 5cm in diameter fall in the village. Witnesses described some hailstones as being “the size of an egg”.

It caused “very significant damage to vehicles and roofs” as well as injury to two people who were outside at the time, said Haute-Marne’s prefect Régine Pam, who visited the village of Arc-en-Barrois in the evening. 

The entire Haute-Marne department is facing tier-three orange warnings today for stormy conditions, which were already in place yesterday when the hailstorm occurred.

Two injured by hail 

Both of those injured were outside when the storm took place.

One woman was “hit by a hailstone and knocked unconscious,” according to the prefect, but suffered only minor injuries.

The second was a man in his fifties who was said to be trying to secure his roof at the end of the storm [and] fell.

He was rushed to the nearby Chaumont hospital in an emergency by firefighters, but his condition is not said to be “life-threatening.” 

Read more: Storms in France: what to do if at home, out walking or in car

Hailstones ‘the size of eggs’

Social media was awash with posts showing the size of the hailstones and the damage caused by them. 

This is a video of the hail falling in a field during the storm:

The owner of a 1.3 hectare plot of greenhouses nearby said the hailstones were “the size of eggs.” A number of greenhouses were destroyed during the storm. 

A number of residents in the village also took photos of fallen hailstones after the storm.

‘Damage could worsen from rain’ 

Damage to the homes in the village was still being assessed on Thursday evening, with “holes of 5cm to 10cm” in some roofs, according to the prefect. 

Residents could face further struggle if another storm with heavy rain hits the village on Friday, the prefect warned. 

Read also

Météo-France will give certified proof of a storm for insurance claims

Photos: Tennis ball-size hailstones as violent storms lash France

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