Murska Sobota/Rogatec – Storms that raged in parts of eastern and north-eastern Slovenia on Wednesday afternoon have caused significant damage, especially in the Pomurje region and the small town of Rogatec that were hit by egg-sized hail.
The hail damaged around 100 cars and roofs in Rogatec, a town located a stone’s throw away from Slovenia’s eastern border with Croatia. The damage would have been even greater had it not been for local firefighters, who did their best to cover the roofs with protective foil, Rogatec Mayor Martin Mikolič told the STA on Thursday.
He said the hail affected crops and vineyards, but thankfully no buildings were flooded this time. The head of the Rogatec Voluntary Fire Brigade, Danijel Lež, told the news portal 24ur.com that firefighters had been working until late at night and were mobilised again today to assist with roof repair.
The Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief said a severe storm with heavy rainfall, hail and strong winds hit the eastern and north-eastern parts of Slovenia at around 4:30pm yesterday. A total of 40 firefighting units have been deployed to deal with the consequences of the storm.
So far, around 100 incidents have been reported, most of them, nearly 60, in the north-eastern Pomurje region where, in addition to the wind, the storm also dropped hail, damaging a large number of roofs, flooding basements and felling trees. Many fire brigades were deployed.
The area alongside the Mura river was hit hardest, and the most damage was done to fields, gardens and orchards. It is still too early to estimate the full extent of the damage, said Metka Barbarič from the Murska Sobota agriculture and forestry authority.
Crops nearing the end of the ripening process are more affected, while newly-planted crops tend to recover well after such events.
The highest number of incidents was recorded in the Radenci municipality, whose mayor, Roman Leljak, estimates the damage at around EUR 300,000 there alone.
Firefighters had to intervene in Gornja Radgona, where a local road was buried beneath a landslide. They also dealt with damaged roofs and flooded buildings and streets in several other places.
Pummelling the area, hail brought motorway and street traffic to a standstill, and about 250 metres of roadway had to be cleared in the Lendava municipality.
The weather will remain moody in the coming days, and Slovenia can expect temperatures to drop by as much as 10-15 degrees over the weekend. Despite the weather turning cooler, this May will be among the three warmest on record in most of Slovenia, 24ur.com said.