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Winter weather hits southern Austria

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Winter weather hits southern Austria
A bridge collapse in Styria. Photo: BFVHB
09:08 CEST+02:00
Areas of southern Austria were pummelled by floods, landslides and half a metre of hailstones yesterday as the region was hit by winter-like conditions.

In Styria hailstones the size of golfballs cause widespread damage to crops and, along with intense downpours, led to blockages that caused mudslides.

In the area of Hartberg-Fürstenfeld two bridges had to be blocked off by emergency services after being damaged by the storms and partly collapsing.

Spokesman for the fire service in Leibnitz Herbert Putz also told the ORF that hailstones as wide as four centimetres caused damage to many roofs in the area. In one incident, a man fell from a building's roof and received injuries to his head after trying to clear up after the storm.

Carinthia was also affected by the storms, with around 70 separate emergencies in the Klagenfurt region.

In Ferlach, a large police operation was launched to find dozens of tourists who went missing in the bad weather while visiting the Tscheppaschlucht adventure park.

They eventually discovered holidaymakers had managed to get on board a bus but had been unable to reach to their parked cars after a mudslide blocked a road.


Photo: FF Ferlach

In Burgenland residents brought out the shovels to help clear roads and paths of hailstones, which had turned the streets white in a matter of minutes.  

Over 2,200 hectares of agricultural land in Burgenland were also damaged from hailstones, with the cost estimated to be over €800,000.

“My garden now looks like it's been shredded. Vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit are completely destroyed ,” one resident told the Kurier. “Was it means for farmers and wine-growers, whose income comes from their crops, you can only guess.”

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