Hailstones pummelled the Italian coastal town of Pescara yesterday, with some said to be the size of oranges.

At least 18 people were hurt in the hail storm, which damaged cars and houses, breaking windows.

Some of the injured were admitted to hospital.

Most of Italy has been under weather warnings since the weekend, as thunderstorms, hail and flash floods have been lashing the country, with strong winds of up to 150km/hr sweeping the coasts.

The storms are expected to move south throughout the day.