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Powerful hailstorm damages crops in southern Bulgaria

Expert commissions with representatives of the district directorates “Agriculture” will assess the damages caused by the hailstorms which hit southern Bulgaria yesterday, April 25. In places, the hailstones were the size of a walnut. The affected farmers will have seven days to submit applications for the assessment. According to preliminary data, the most affected agricultural areas are in the districts of Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Sliven (South-central Bulgaria).

In the village of Krushevo, Parvomai municipality, which was hit by two hailstorms nearly two hours apart on April 25, The hailstones were about 1 cm in diametre, but the duration of the hailstorm was long and much of the crops sown outdoors were damaged.

These include both private farms and areas of large producers – mainly of sunflowers. Most of the people do not have insurance, especially small farmers. The Hail Suppression Agency reported that over 600 rockets had been launched into the clouds and over 20 hail cells had been treated, but one of these was a so-called super cell and it passed over a large area, continually renewing the cloud’s power. The cloud moved, causing damages, over the Stara Zagora, Plovdiv and Sliven regions.

“Total damage, nothing will remain. 50% is damaged by the hail and the other 50% will be destroyed by diseases that are coming as a result of the hail,” said Ivan Nikolov, a farmer from Krushevo village.

“The lettuce is pretty much destroyed, it’s at 100% loss. I have lost at least 7,000-8,000 BGN,” explained Stanislav Ivanov, a farmer from Krushevo village.

About 5,000 hectares of agricultural areas were destroyed in the area of the village of Zetyovo, which was among the most affected yesterday, the mayor of the village told BNT on April 26.

Neighbouring villages were also seriously affected. Only some farmers have insurance.

“The situation is deplorable. 5,000 acres have been destroyed – with maize, sunflowers, chickpeas and wheat. Orchards have also been affected,” said Ivan Ganev, mayor of the village of Zetyovo.

Source: BNT