A 20-month-old toddler has died after being hit in the head by a massive hailstone in Spain's Catalonia region, where a brutal storm caused major damage this week.
Fist-sized hailstones rained down during the storm on Tuesday, fatally injuring the child and leaving about 50 other people with broken bones and bruises, reported Reuters. The hailstones measured about 10 centimetres in diameter, the local Catalonian government said on their website.
The storm only lasted about 10 minutes but it destroyed roofs, broke windows and brought down power cables, according to reports by the BBC.
The toddler, who was struck in the head in the village of La Bisbal d'Emporda, was transported to a hospital in the nearby city of Girona, where she later died of her injuries.
Musician Sicus Carbonell, who was caught in the middle of the storm, told Reuters that "people started screaming and hiding" as the chaos ensued.
"There was chaos, with little boys and girls running around alone, some parents were able to grab their children. There was a little girl of around three or four who was not sheltering under the parasol. I ran out and grabbed her," Carbonell told Reuters.
"Then a hailstone broke through the fabric...and I told my group that either we get into the restaurant or one of those tennis balls would land on us, and we wouldn't make it," he continued.
Carbonell, who was performing with his band at a hotel in Castell d'Emporda when the storm hit, filmed the aftermath and posted it on his social media.
In his Instagram caption, he called the experience "apocalyptic."
"Never in my life saw ice tennis balls fall from the sky. That was one of the worst 10 minutes of my life," said his translated caption. "Thanks to God for keeping us safe, and nothing happened to us, nor the people dancing among kids."
He described it as "a flood of tennis balls and ice cubes," which broke the glass of his car.
According to the local meteorological agency, Meteocat, the hailstones from the Tuesday storm are the biggest recorded in Catalonia in two decades.
The last time such giant hailstones fell in that region was in 2002.