Three die as Storm Ophelia hits the British Isles
Woman and two men killed after 118mph winds batter the Irish coast
Three people, a woman in her 50s and two men in their 30s, were killed as Storm Ophelia passed over the British Isles yesterday.
The “woman died when a tree fell on her car” as Hurricane-force winds battered the Republic of Ireland, says the BBC.
The second victim was killed in similar circumstances, and the third died in a chainsaw accident while attempting to remove a downed tree in County Tipperary.
The Irish Republic’s Electricity Supply Board has said that 360,000 customers are now without power as a result of the storm, and warned that more outages are expected.
The energy supplier said repair operations were under way, but warned that it may take several days.
All schools across Ireland remained closed for a second day as the clean-up operation began this morning, while thousands more homes and businesses remain without power in Northern Ireland.
At least 4,000 homes in Wales are also without power.
Public transport services have also been badly hit, with Irish Rail issuing notice of cancellations, delays and speed restrictions on routes across Ireland.
Planes were also grounded at Manchester Airport, with 20 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead before travelling to the airport, but these restrictions are understood to have been lifted.
Warnings issues as Hurricane Ophelia approaches Ireland
Severe weather warnings have been issued across Ireland this morning, as Hurricane Ophelia continues moving east, forcing the closure of schools and colleges.
The storm is set to make landfall this morning, with wind gusts of up to 80mph which will pose a “danger to life”, according to the Met Office.
"Preparations to protect lives and property should be rushed to completion by this afternoon," the Met Office said yesterday.
“Ireland is expected to be worst hit by the remnants of Ophelia, with the Irish national meteorological service, Met Eireann, saying the country will face one of the most powerful storm systems in 50 years,” The Guardian reports.
Three battalions of soldiers are on permanent standby to deal with major incidents in the UK, but as yet no specific requests had yet been made to the Ministry of Defence by local authorities, the BBC says.
“Ophelia’s position is the farthest east that a major hurricane has travelled in the Atlantic,” CNN says, and is set arrive on the 30th anniversary of 1987’s Great Storm which claimed the lives of 22 people.