A 20-month-old girl has died after being struck on the head by a hailstone during a violent storm in northeastern Spain, local officials said.

The hailstone "fell on her head" and "she did not survive," Carme Vall, a city councillor in the Catalan town of La Bisbal de l'Emporda, told Barcelona-based radio station RAC1.

"The hail only fell for ten minutes, but it was ten minutes of terror," she said.

Fist-sized hailstones up to 10cm in diameter rained down on the village of La Bisbal d'Emporda.

The deluge caused injuries, mostly broken bones and bruising, to around 50 other people, the Catalan public service broadcaster, TV3, said.

Damage to the ceiling of a business in Catalonia following the hail storm

The hailstones were the biggest recorded in two decades in Catalonia, according to meteorological agency Meteocat.

The toddler was rushed to the Josep Trueta Hospital in the nearby city of Girona, but died overnight from her injuries, the hospital said in a statement.

"People started screaming and hiding", said Sicus Carbonell, whose band were playing under a canvas-covered terrace in a hotel, when everyone was forced to run for cover.

"Then a hailstone broke though the fabric," he added.

"I told my group that either we get into the restaurant, or one of those tennis balls would land on us and we wouldn't make it."

Hailstones broke the windows on this car

Images broadcast on Spanish television showed several cars with shattered windshields or dents in their roofs from the hailstones.

The stained glass windows of the town's church were also shattered by the impact of the hailstones, photos released by the town hall showed.