Hailstorm hits Poniente area of Almeria

The fruit and vegetable sector of the Poniente area of Almeria was surprised Tuesday at noon by heavy rainfall and a hail storm, which mainly affected the municipalities of El Ejido, La Mojonera and Vícar.

Photo by José Antonio Fuentes.

"The storm caught us by surprise and there was hail falling for about an hour," says Stephan van Marrewijk, of Vicasol, based in Vícar. "Three of our growers, who grew mainly aubergines and courgettes, have been affected."

Damages have mostly been reported in the oldest greenhouse structures, which were unable to bear the weight of the hail accumulated in such a short time and collapsed. "Also, the accumulation of ice on the ground caused the drains to get stuck, which resulted in the flooding of some fields and warehouses," said the trader.

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According to Stephan, the incident is not considered serious and will not interrupt the course of the campaign. "This storm has been recorded in a campaign already marked by rather unstable weather," he says.

At present, both the producers' associations Coag and Asaja Almeria, as well as Agroseguro, are assessing the extent of the damage on site and report that it is still too early to offer accurate figures. According to the first estimates, about 45 hectares may have been affected.

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