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Spain: Tornado destroys 200 hectares of greenhouses
A tornado demolished a large area of greenhouses in El Eljido, Spain, on Saturday. First estimates suggest an acreage of 200 hectare being damaged and demolished. Photos and videos of the tornado show complete covers being torn apart.
Photo: Murgi Verde, a Spanish cooperation
El Ejido is located between Almeria and Motril and is known best for its pepper cultivation. "Also eggplant and cucumber greenhouses were demolished, but mainly the pepper nurseries have been hit the hardest", an employee of a Spanish cooperation tells us. "We've never seen something like this before. Every now and then tornadoes occur in the mountains - but that's far away from the greenhouses. A tornado in this area, that's a first."
Due to the celebration of epiphany, the greenhouses were empty and so far no reports of injuries have been reported. "But for the growers it is a disaster", the cooperative employee explains. "The average size of a greenhouse company here is 2 hectare, most companies are family owned. A few companies are insured, but most are not - even though whole families depend on the greenhouses."
Rodrigo Sánchez and Francisco Góngora, the Minister of Agriculture for Andalucía, and the mayor of El Ejido, visited the region yesterday.
It is not the first time the greenhouses have been hit by hard weather. Three years ago, an acreage of 60 hectares was demolished by hail. "Some companies have now been hit for the second time in only three years."
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