Storm Ophelia: Three dead as storm hits Ireland
At least three people have been killed as Storm Ophelia continues to batter the British Isles with hurricane-force winds.
One man has died in chainsaw accident after trying to remove a tree downed by the storm Storm Ophelia in County Tipperary, Ireland.
His death was confirmed shortly after a woman was killed in Waterford when a tree fell on her car. Another person is reported to have died in similar circumstances in Dundalk, near the border with Northern Ireland.
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Remnants of the hurricane battered Britain’s west coast on Monday afternoon, with gusts of up to 80mph, exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 killed 18 people.
Around 120,000 homes and businesses have been left without power.
One video posted to social media shows the roof being torn off a school in Cork.
There goes the roof of Douglas Community School #ophelia via @breffnih pic.twitter.com/aVwBLc1GTC
— Nadine O'Regan (@NadineORegan) October 16, 2017
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has urged the public to stay safe, saying: ‘The advice is: stay indoors until the storm passes.
‘Bear in mind it is coming your way and it is a national red alert. It is a very dangerous storm. The last time there was a storm this severe 11 lives were lost.’
Experts fear the storm, which has been downgraded from hurricane strength, could be the worst to hit Ireland for nearly 60 years, when Hurricane Debbie killed 18 people in winds that reached up to 114 mph.
All schools have been closed in Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland, where a red weather warning has been issued.
The Met Office said “very windy weather” may cause power cuts while flying debris, such as as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts.
This will lead to the potential for injuries and danger to life, it said.
It added it will cause longer journey times, with cancellations are likely, as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, as well as some bridge closures.
The storm will will arrive 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987, which caused £5 billion worth of damage.
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First #trampoline to go #ophelia #OpheliaStorm pic.twitter.com/2TCF0S0YlP
— Adrian McCarthy (@TheRebelRam) October 16, 2017
The effects of #Ophelia in Cobh Port #Cork #Ireland…. #CorkCity #Opheila #staysafe pic.twitter.com/tzLYbNl88V
— Pierce Kennedy (@PierceKennedy) October 16, 2017
A collapsed billboard in Cork. (Pic: Robert Byrne) Share your #Ophelia photos here or via email@example.com, but only if safe to do so. pic.twitter.com/KoP9kY9iWM
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 16, 2017
The Met Office issued a yellow warning of “very windy weather” in northern England and Wales, along with parts of southern and central Scotland.
Met Eireann has issued a status red weather warning across all of the Irish Republic.
It has described the storm as the most powerful to have ever been this far east in the Atlantic on record.
Forecasters have warned of a potential threat to life and advised the public to stay off the roads and away from the coast during the height of the storm if possible.
Counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal are due to bear the brunt of the winds.
Met Office chief forecaster Steve Ramsdale said: “By the time Ophelia reaches our latitudes, she will be weakening and will be an ex-hurricane.
“However, Ex-Ophelia will be bringing some significant impacts to Northern Ireland and western and northern Britain on Monday and Tuesday.
“On the basis of the latest information we have issued an Amber wind warning for Northern Ireland for the most intense period of winds between 3pm and 10pm on Monday.
“During this period we can expect wind gusts in excess of 60 mph with a chance of 80 mph gusts for the southeast of Northern Ireland
“Yellow wind warnings, which were first issued on Thursday, cover Northern Ireland and western and northern Britain from 12 noon on Monday until midnight,” he added.
“On Tuesday a separate Yellow wind warning has been issued from a period extending until 3pm on Tuesday for Northern Ireland, northern England and the southern half of Scotland.”
The UK Military of Defence (MOD) has three battalions — 1,200 personnel in total — permanently on standby to assist with contingencies.
An MOD spokesman said it has not yet received requests from any local authority for assistance.