Over 40 People Injured in Heaviest Hailstorm to Hit Sofia

Society | July 9, 2014, Wednesday // 10:23
Bulgaria: Over 40 People Injured in Heaviest Hailstorm to Hit Sofia Photo by BGNES.

One person died and 40 sought medical care in the emergency center of the Pirogov hospital after to the heavy rain, the gale-force winds and the hail that hit Sofia, Tuesday.

The cleaning of the streets of Sofia continues after the disastrous hailstorm that hit the city Tuesday afternoon minutes before 5pm, the press office of Sofia Municipality informs.

Two men were rescued from a car, crushed by a fallen tree on Pirotska street, other two people have been safely taken out of a car in the Mladost district.

In various parts of Sofia the hailstones varied in size from a walnut to a golf ball and broke windows, windshields and damaged cars and roofs.

Many buildings have been flooded, including the Sofia Emergency care main building.

Currently, the most serious problem remains the cleaning of the drains clogged by fallen leaves, the removal of silts along the main streets and the drainage of buildings.

Over 20 teams and more than 80 firefighters from the Sofia Directorate Fire Safety and Protection of Population have been working to remove the damages in the first hours after the storm, the Ministry of Interior informed.

“The storm over Sofia occurred in 7-8 minutes before entering its most powerful parameters over the city. The cloud came from Serbia,” the Director of the Hail Suppression Agency Nikolay Nikolov told Bulgarian National Radio.

For the short time the hailstorm occurred, it was not possible to take any preventive measures, Nikolov explained. There are no hail suppression systems near Sofia. Such facilities are located near the cities of Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Sliven.

Nikolov explained that the Hail Suppression Agency processes hail clouds only over agricultural areas and not over cities, such as Sofia.

The necessary funds for the purchase of enough anti-hail missiles for the needs of the Hail Suppression Agency have been provided, Nikolov added.

The National Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology warns of short rainfalls and thunderstorms, mainly in Northern Bulgaria, on Wednesday.

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Tags: hail, hailstorm, sofia, flooded, rain, gale-force winds, hospital, died, Hail Suppression Agency, anti-hail missiles
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