The northern municipality of Vila Real is counting the cost today of an horrific ‘storm’ of ping-pong ball sized-hailstones followed by heavy rain which has all but destroyed countless crops and vines in the parishes of Abaças and Guiães. Producers have described “a scene of catastrophe”. Damages are being calculated, but people are talking about “a year ruined for many farmers”. The hailstones arrived with such force that even cars suffered damages, one even suffering a broken windscreen. The Ministry of Agriculture has sent a team to the area to evaluate damages and work out what compensatory measures can be put in place.