Freak hailstorm hits Yunnan, China on March 19, 2019

Freak hailstorm hits Yunnan, China on March 19, 2019
A freak hailstorm hit a county in southern China today with hailstones said to be as big as eggs.

Residents of Jinping in southern China's Yunnan Province woke up to find their cars destroyed, windows smashed and streets covered by massive lumps of ice.

Huge hailstones hammered the county, which borders Vietnam, for about 20 minutes early in the morning, leaving the local traffic in chaos. No casualties have been reported.

Pictures circulating on Chinese social media show the locals holding sizable hailstones in their hands or collecting them in washing bowls.

Roofs, vehicles and crops in the fields were seen sustaining serious damage.

Some hailstones were as big as eggs and others were similar to the size of chestnuts, according to Yunnan Radio and Television Station, citing local weather authorities.

Other news sources described the size of the hailstones to be that of table tennis balls.

The biggest stones had a diameter of more than five centimetres (1.96 inches). Most of them measured 0.5 to five centimetres (0.19 to 1.96 inches) wide, said the report.

The storm began at around 6:40am and was accompanied by high winds gusting up to 70 kilometres per hour (43.6 miles per hour), said the Yunnan Meteorological Bureau which added that such storm 'was rarely seen in many years'.

Streets were covered with hailstones by a maximum depth of 28 centimetres (11 inches), said the Bureau.

The local authorities are currently calculating the economic loss caused by the adverse weather, it is reported.

They have warned the residents to stay warm and take extra care in the next few days.