Hail causes €3mn havoc

Thousands of hectares of agricultural land have been devastated by thunderstorms.Powerful thunderstorms and hail wrecked crops of around 7,000 hectares of land in Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Burgenland at the weekend, the Austrian Hail Insurance Association said today (Mon). Hundreds of firemen had to pump water from flooded cellars and homes.The insurer explained that damage ranged around three million Euros. The firm added over 80 per cent of the destroyed land was insured.Austrian farmers sustained substantial losses during last summer’s heatwaves which featured strong thunderstorms, hail and flooding. Their harvest volume declined by 6.5 per cent from 2009 to 2010 to around 4.5 million tons.