Hailstorm hits northern Vietnam, injures 25

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Houses in Muong Khuong District, the northern province of Lao Cai, whose roofs were destroyed by a hailstorm on March 27

The worst ever hailstorm recorded in Vietnam hit the northern province of Lao Cai on March 27, injuring 25 people and destroying more than 8,100 houses.

Speaking to Thanh Nien the same day, Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Hydrometeorological Forecast Center, said the hailstorm started early in the morning and lasted around 20 minutes.

Hailstones estimated to be 4-6 centimeters across on average, with many over 10 centimeters or the size of an adult's fist, clattered down, he said.

"These are the biggest that meteorologists have ever recorded," he said, calling the hailstorm that destroyed crops and buildings in Muong Khuong, Bac Ha, and Si Ma Cai Districts "the most terrible ever."

According to Ma Quang Trung, director of the Lao Cai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 25 people were hospitalized with injuries, including brain trauma.

It also damaged 8,111 houses and 780 hectares of crops, he added.

Hai said hailstorms can occur anywhere in the country, but mountainous provinces are likely to experience more violent ones.

The phenomenon is likely to continue until the rainy season ends in May, Hai said.

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