It’s scarcely three weeks until the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. However, preparations in the metropolis have recently been stalled by a massive freak hailstorm, leaving some streets icy and whitened, for the first time in living memory.

The extreme weather event followed a particularly dry spell for the region which caused low levels of water reserves in the main reservoirs nearby. This has obviously affected the response of the emergency services.

It’s hoped that the clean-up effort after the hail will enable Sao Paolo to complete its preparations for the World Cup, efficiently and on time.