150 hectare collapses:

Ice storm hits greenhouses in Almeria, at least 300 hectare damaged

Yesterday, Wednesday, afternoon between 3 and 4 pm local time, a big ice storm hit Almeria. The storm was very concentrated in the areas between El Ejido and Poligono La Redondo, with the highest intensity in the north of Santa Maria del Aguila. Local growers are currently carrying out damage evaluation, but according to local sources at least150 hectares of plastic greenhouses have collapsed under the weight of the ice. In total 300 hectares have been damaged quite serious, and according to growers association UPA Almeria the damage estimates 30 million euros. As well as this, melt water is also causing problems with flooding and a minimum of 60 hectare of greenhouses has at least 5 centimeters of waters inside.

Growers in Almeria are not prepared for these kind of situations as they are very rare in the area. The greenhouse in the affected part of Almeria are mostly smaller companies owned by small families. The greenhouses are in most cases the only thing they have, and is the only source of income for the families. The most damaged crops are bell peppers, followed by aubergine, courgette and green beens.

Pictures: Juan Luis Pérez Calvo, BioBest Spain.

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