Hailstones the size of golfballs (some over 5cm in diameter) hammered the municipality of Mogadouro for around 40 minutes on Saturday, devastating crops and vines – leaving many small producers in states of despair.
Representatives for the Ministry of Agriculture visited the region on Sunday to assess damage and start the process towards helping farmers recover.
Said a council source for one of the most affected areas, 90% of the population have no agricultural insurance.
All affected attest to ‘never having seen anything like it’.
“It was an inferno”, said António José Marcos, president of the parish council of Tó. “Almost all this year’s production has been lost”.
Said locals, the “weather started to darken over Saturday morning” but with temperatures still in the 20’s “no one imagined a storm like that” was coming.
People mercifully weren’t hurt, said Marcos, because “no one works in the fields at that time”.
The hail began around 3pm, leaving behind it ‘mounds of ice’ that were still visible on Sunday.
Meteorologists however have said the phenomenon was “not totally unexpected”. It was provoked by a depression over Portugal coming into contact with the high temperatures from last week, and “contributing to greater evaporation and the formation of clouds that bring rain, thunder and hail”.
Photo: Facebook Meteo Trás os Montes