A severe thunderstorm accompanied by very strong winds and up to baseball-sized hail hit the city of Požega, Croatia and neighboring towns and villages on June 25, 2021, downing trees and causing massive damage to homes, crops, and vehicles. Elderly citizens say they've never witnessed a hailstorm of this intensity.
"The city is broken, the roofs, the windows, the cars, there is almost no one without something being damaged. We will propose to declare a natural disaster. It is clear that help will be needed for all those who suffered these great damages. The local community is not so financially powerful to fully repair the damage and we will have to seek help from the national level," said Mayor Dr. Zeljko Glavić.
The storm came from the south and hit the region around 16:00 LT (14:00 UTC) on Friday, June 25, after several unusually hot days. It lasted only 15 minutes but the damage it made is unprecedented.
Hailstones ranged in size from 2.5 to 7 cm (1 to 2.75 inches) and larger.
The worst hit is the city of Požega, its center and eastern suburban areas like Vidovci, as well as Jakšić area, parts of the city of Kutjevo, Pleternica, and Kaptol.
"The scale of the damage is great and all city services are on the ground, but it is very difficult that we will be able to list all the damage in a short time. Therefore, we appeal to the citizens to try to repair the damage as much as possible so that the possible additional disasters do not cause even greater damage and problems, and to document all the damage."
"This will make the assessment easier, but it will certainly take several weeks, given the number of housing units that have been damaged at the moment," said the Chief of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Požega and Deputy Mayor Borislav Miličević.
Early estimates mention thousands of damaged homes and vehicles. In addition, it's worth noting that this is a predominantly agricultural region and that crop damage is also massive.
This is the second severe weather event to hit the region this month after torrential rains brought destructive flash floods.
Featured image credit: Miroslav Petrušić, Neverin.hr
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