Severe Hailstorm Hits Bulgaria: Damage and Disruption in Sliven and Beyond

Incidents | June 13, 2024, Thursday // 12:03|  views

A severe storm accompanied by hail struck Sliven and surrounding areas last evening, causing significant damage. Reports from the Regional Directorate for Combating Hailstorms indicate that the "Rechitsa" quarter, Mechkarevo village, and parts of the western municipality were the hardest hit. The hailstones ranged in size from hazelnut to walnut, impacting residential areas and agricultural land alike.

The storm resulted in power outages in the eastern part of Sliven's villa area, with repair crews from "Electrorazpradelenie Yug" (power distribution south) mobilized to address the disruptions. Additionally, authorities received reports of a fallen tree obstructing the road between Chintulovo and Malko Chochoveni villages. Municipal teams remain on standby, maintaining communication with local officials to coordinate response efforts and assess further damage.

In agricultural areas, the hail wrought havoc on peach crops across several villages in Sliven. Entire productions of corn and other crops in Mechkarevo village were completely devastated, while peach plantations in Gavrailovo village also suffered extensive damage. Farmers, many of whom lack insurance due to distrust of insurance companies, expressed frustration over the perceived inadequacy of anti-hail measures.

The aftermath of the storm in Lovech region, however, painted a picture of partial disaster. Roofs were blown off houses, trees toppled, and power outages compounded the situation. Torrential rains combined with hail caused flooding in streets, basements, and homes, with Lovech center particularly affected by the inundation. The local authorities reported a rainfall of 25 liters per square meter in just 20 minutes.

In Veliko Tarnovo, the mayor convened a crisis headquarters in response to unprecedented hail damage sustained overnight. The storm left Arbanasi without electricity for three hours and inflicted substantial damage on over 100 vehicles in Sheremetya. Schools were not spared, with one suffering partial roof damage, necessitating closure for the day while assessments continue.

Authorities in Veliko Tarnovo are grappling with the aftermath of the hailstorm, which saw hailstones as large as walnuts pummel the area within a short span. More than 30 trees were uprooted, compounding the widespread destruction of property and crops. Efforts are underway to repair the extensive material damage, particularly in local car dealerships where numerous vehicles were rendered inoperable overnight.

"We are focused on repairing the damage as swiftly as possible. Many vehicles, especially in dealerships, sustained significant damage," commented Ivaylo Zdravkov, district governor of Tarnovo. The impact on infrastructure was severe, with a school reporting structural damage to its roof, prompting cautionary measures to prevent access to the affected building until further inspections are completed.

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Tags: hail, Sliven, Veliko Tarnovo, Lovech


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