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Three dead as Storm Ophelia hits Ireland with 96mph winds

The violent weather has also left around 120,000 homes without power.

Ireland Ophelia
PA

Three people have died in Ireland in incidents related to Storm Ophelia.

The violent weather has also left around 120,000 homes without power as the UK-bound storm's winds of more than 96mph (156kph) hit Ireland.

A woman, who was in her mid-50s, was killed when a tree fell on her car while she was driving in severe winds in a village near the southern city of Waterford.

Another woman, who is in her 70s, was injured in the crash, but her injuries were not said to be life-threatening.

A man in Ravensdale, Dundalk, was also killed when a tree fell on his car.

Another man, aged in his 30s, died in a chainsaw accident in Cahir, Co Tipperary when he was trying to clear a tree downed by the storm.

Gardai have urged people not to travel unless absolutely necessary, and around 130 flights have been cancelled at Dublin Airport.

A trampoline was filmed being hurled through a garden as Storm Ophelia blasted through Ireland.
A trampoline was filmed being hurled through a garden as Storm Ophelia blasted through Ireland.

While western parts of the UK have also been battered by the storm, Ireland has been hit with the worst of the weather, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urging people in Ireland to stay safe, saying: "The advice is: stay indoors until the storm passes.

"It is a very dangerous storm. The last time there was a storm this severe 11 lives were lost."

ESB, the Republic of Ireland's electricity network, warned that more outages were expected and that repairs would take several days.

Met Eireann has issued a "status red" weather alert for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork and Kerry, warning of severe winds and stormy conditions.

Ophelia's status as a hurricane was downgraded as it crossed the Atlantic.
Ophelia's status as a hurricane was downgraded as it crossed the Atlantic. Credit: Nasa

In the UK, around 200 homes in Wales have been left without power, schools have closed early, trees have fallen into roads and bridges have been shut as remnants of the hurricane battered the country's west coast.

Further power outages are expected which could take several days to repair, energy suppliers have warned.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urged people in Ireland to stay safe, saying: "The advice is: stay indoors until the storm passes.

"It is a very dangerous storm. The last time there was a storm this severe 11 lives were lost."

Dog walkers in Penzance watched as high waves crashed against the harbour.
Dog walkers in Penzance watched as high waves crashed against the harbour. Credit: PA

High winds and heavy rain are expected across the UK, while a yellow warning is in place for much of Wales, Scotland, north east England, north west England, south west England and the West Midlands.

Parts of Scotland and Wales have also been upgraded to amber.

The high winds blasting the southwest of England were felt at Lands End in Cornwall.
The high winds blasting the southwest of England were felt at Lands End in Cornwall. Credit: PA

Loganair in Scotland is offering free flight changes on routes that could be hit by the severe weather conditions.

The airline said at the moment it still intends operating a normal full schedule on Monday and Tuesday.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has three battalions, 1,200 personnel in total, permanently on standby to assist with contingencies.

But an MoD spokesman said it has not yet received requests from any local authority for assistance.

Irish forecasters have held a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination group in Dublin.
Irish forecasters have held a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination group in Dublin. Credit: PA

The Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, held an emergency meeting with the permanent secretaries from all government departments on Monday morning.

It was decided that all government buildings providing non-essential services close at 1pm and all non-essential civil service staff will leave work at that time.

Arrangements for Tuesday's school openings are to be decided later.

Belfast International Airport said the storm is having an impact, with both Ryanair and EasyJet cancelling flights. The airport is expecting more cancellations.

Anyone due to travel has been advised to contact their airline.

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