At least two people have died and dozens are feared dead after Hurricane Ophelia swept towards the UK today.
The storm swept into Ireland with deadly force as 120,000 homes lost power, trees were flattened and flights were grounded. This could be the worst storm to hit the island in 56 years.
Northern Ireland and Wales will be hit by gales of up to 70mph. The rest of Britain will see heavy rain.
One woman in her 50s died after a tree fell on her car in severe winds while she drove in Waterford. A woman passenger in her 70s was taken to University Hospital Waterford with non-life-threatening injuries. Gusts of 92mph hit the South West coast – with worse yet to come, according to forecasters.
Thousands have been left without power in southern Ireland as Hurricane Ophelia hit the British Isles. The storm knocked down trees and whipped up 10-metre waves.
Flights have been grounded at Manchester airport with 20 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead. The Met Office has warned of “potential danger to life”. Warnings of 80mph winds have been forecasted.
Ophelia comes exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 killed 18 people.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has urged the public to stay safe, saying: ‘The advice is: stay indoors until the storm passes. Whether that is at work, in their home or some other home, stay indoors.
‘Check on neighbours and relatives. 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.’
The storm is expected to move across to Wales, northern England and Scotland throughout Monday.