Storm Ophelia: second person killed in Ireland, police confirm - as it happened

Last modified: 10: 36 PM GMT+0

Follow latest updates as Tropical Storm Ophelia batters Ireland, with homes and businesses without power and schools closed

Evening summary

We’re closing this live blog now. Thanks so much for joining us and do stay safe out there.

  • Three people have been killed as tropical storm Ophelia battered Ireland with winds of more than 100mph. Clare O’Neill was killed when high winds brought down a tree on her car in Aglish, Waterford. Michael Pyke died after an accident with his chainsaw while trying to clear a fallen tree in Ballybrado, Tipperary. Another man, who has not yet been named, died in Ravensdale, near Dundalk, when a tree struck his car.
  • At least 360,000 electricity customers are without power amid scores of reports of fallen trees and power lines. The network operator warned that the majority of those already affected would be without power tonight and 5% to 10% could be without electricity for up to 10 days. Northern Ireland was also affected, with 18,000 customers suffering a loss of power, including the Stormont parliament.
  • The force of Ophelia was such that it blew roofs off buildings in Cork. Douglas Community school saw the roof of its gym ripped off and the roof of Cork City football club’s stadium collapsed. A gust of 118mph was recorded off the coast of Ireland.
  • All schools across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are to remain closed on Tuesday as the authorities deal with the aftermath of Storm Ophelia. The decision was taken to “avoid any potential risk to life for children and staff” after severe winds caused widespread damage to the electricity network, structural damage and uprooted trees.
  • The Met Office has extended an amber weather warning to parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England with winds threatening power cuts and falling debris. A series of flood alerts and warnings are in place for south west and north west England. Planes have been grounded at Manchester airport, with 50 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead before travelling to the airport.
  • The remnants of the Ophelia hurricane are due to batter the western parts of Scotland from around midnight tonight although effects are already being felt. The Met Office has an an amber warning covering Dumfries and Galloway, Lothian and Borders, and Strathclyde, with winds up to 80mph expected. People are being advised to check weather and traffic reports before travelling, or to stay indoors if possible as the storms begins to make landfall.

Updated

Two of the victims named

Two of the storm’s victims have been named Michael Pyke from County Tipperary and Clare O’Neill from County Waterford.

Pyke was killed after he went to cut up a tree which had fallen on a road in the Ballybrado area. The 31-year-old died at the scene.

Independent politician Mattie McGrath, who knows the family, said:

It’s a devastating tragedy for the family of this young man. They’re a hard-working family and for his life to be taken like that is just shocking. It would bring home to us the dangers of going out into the wind.

O’Neill, who was due to celebrate her 59th birthday tomorrow, was killed after a tree fell on her car near the village of Aglish.

It is believed the oncology nurse and mother of one, who was driving a car with a woman in her 70s in the passenger seat, when the branch of a tree fell on the vehicle and went through the windscreen.

The passenger was taken to University Hospital Waterford with non-life threatening injuries.

Local shopkeeper Richard Hurley, who knew O’Neill, told the Irish Mirror:

She was a very jolly woman, very helpful. It’s a big shock, it’s a miserable morning, a young woman like that in such a tragic accident.

A third male victim died in Ravensdale, Dundalk after a tree struck the car he was in.

Updated

In case you missed it, here’s a photo gallery from earlier, which mostly shows how Ireland was battered by the storm.

The remnants of the Ophelia hurricane are due to batter the western parts of Scotland from around midnight tonight although effects are already being felt.

💨 🌊 ☔ Eeekkk the winds are picking up!#Ophelia is on her way so remember to check before you travel! If possible, stay indoors!

pic.twitter.com/w0bde3mBVC

— Traffic Scotland (@trafficscotland) October 16, 2017

The Met Office has an an amber warning covering Dumfries and Galloway, Lothian and Borders, and Strathclyde, with winds up to 80mph expected. Other parts of Scotland have a lower yellow warning.

Dumfries & Galloway getting the brunt but #Ophelia to spread across West to Central and Southern Scotland. Plan ahead & stay safe https://t.co/6YJuREp5zr

— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) October 16, 2017

People are being advised to check weather and traffic reports before travelling, or to stay indoors if possible as the storms begins to make landfall.

Several wind warnings for northern parts overnight & into tomorrow. Keep up to date here: https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs #Ophelia #weatheraware pic.twitter.com/7g3wy3ayYn

— Met Office (@metoffice) October 16, 2017

Although the strongest winds are likely overnight they may last into the morning’s busy travel period across the central belt of Scotland and in the north-east of England.

Updated

Here is a live animated map showing where Storm Ophelia is now. It is currently heading towards the west coast of Scotland and forecasters have warned that Scotland is “in for a rough night”.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland have helped rescue a number of people from apartments on the Belfast Lough shore.

Number of residents evacuated from apartments in Rodgers Quay, Carrickfergus due to risk of flooding posed by tidal surges. #Ophelia

— PSNI M&EA District (@PSNIMEADistrict) October 16, 2017

The residents from Rodgers Quay in Carrickfergus were evacuated out of the complex following fears of tidal surges tonight.

They have been taken to a local council hall for the evening, the PSNI said.

A pub in Carrickfergus has also had to be evacuated tonight. In a tweet from the JD Wetherspoon-owned Central Bar, staff said: “Folks on advice from the PSNI we have had to evacuate the pub due to a possible and I must stress possible storm surge coming up Belfast Lough.

They added: “Stay safe, do not attempt to come to the pub at this time. We will keep you posted.”

Updated

People in the Republic of Ireland are being advised that there may be some disruption to health services over the next few days.

Thank you to @AmbulanceNAS - doing us proud today, as always. Whilst we all stayed indoors, you went out to help others in need. Grateful. https://t.co/7EcTK7bcfV

— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) October 16, 2017

Health minister Simon Harris released a statement asking those who do not have GP or hospital appointments to stay home unless it is urgent.

He said:

I want to thank all those who came to work today and went above and beyond. We do expect some continued disruption over the coming days but we can expect a gradual return to normal services.

The message for tomorrow is if you have an appointment turn up as planned, unless you hear otherwise. The main focus of our community services tomorrow and in the coming days will be dealing with the most vulnerable patients.

I would ask if you don’t have an appointment and if it’s not urgent please don’t attend your GP or hospital.

Updated

Locals on Ireland’s most northerly point have braved Storm Ophelia for a first-hand view of its impact on the Atlantic, the Press Association reports.

As the ex-hurricane swept north, huge waves crashed into clifftops and blew the roof off a caravan at Malin Head.

Local man Kevin Farren said:

I was sitting in my house looking out the window when I saw the roof of one of the caravans near us blow clean off. It just got lifted by the storm and blew along.

There are boats all along the pier here which the fishermen haven’t taken in. I’m not sure they’ll still be there when they come back tomorrow.

The wind is always rough here, it’s certainly not the worst we’ve ever seen. Unless things get much worse overnight it won’t have been too bad.

Malin Head previously held the record for the highest wind speed recorded on the island of Ireland at 113mph in 1961.

It is thought that record has now transferred to Cork following Ophelia. Meteorologists with Met Éireann measured winds of 34 knots, or 40mph, at Malin Head as the storm swept over.

Another local, who declined to be named, said he lived nearby but had driven up to the clifftop at Banba’s Crown out of curiosity to see the storm as it passed.

It’s the first time we’ve ever had a red weather warning round these parts, so I came up to see what it would be like. It’s not that different to what we’d be used to the rest of the time because we have strong winds round here all the time as it’s so exposed. I think we’ll be safe enough.

Many businesses in the surrounding area, including shops and cafes, were closed as a precautionary measure following warnings from authorities that people should not make unnecessary journeys.

Updated

Trafficwatch NI has an interesting up-to-date figure on how Ophelia is causing chaos on Northern Ireland’s roads tonight. As of 6pm this evening there were 179 fallen trees or branches across the region’s roads.

#Ophelia up to 6pm we have 179 reports of fallen trees / branches in the 4 @deptinfra regions Eastern 48 Northern 30 Southern 83 Western 18

— Trafficwatch NI (@TrafficwatchNI) October 16, 2017

South Down is the area hardest hit by the storm on Monday evening and Trafficwatch NI points out that out of that 179 figure, 83 are roads in coastal parts of the county.

Meanwhile there are now 18,500 customers without electricity due to felled and damaged power lines. And while schools and further education colleges will shut for a second day on Tuesday, both Queen’s University and Ulster University will reopen.

Updated

Here’s a video Jon Williams of RTÉ News has posted on Twitter showing trees felled by the storm in Cork.

Perhaps most extraordinary image of #Ophelia: trees felled by storm near #Cork’s #GAA stadium, Páirc Uí Chaoimh. pic.twitter.com/OTMNqbtMNE

— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) October 16, 2017

Age UK is urging people to check on older family members and friends during the storm and make sure they are safe and comfortable.

As Hurricane #Ophelia hits our shores, please check on older family & friends that they are safe & comfortable. RT. https://t.co/n214RV3RlE

— Age UK (@age_uk) October 16, 2017

Updated

Although the Irish Defence Forces have been deployed through the day to help with flood defences and rescue missions across Ireland one of its units had to cancel training due to Ophelia.

Its 11th Infantry Battalion has had to call off an exercise to prepare them for UN peacekeeping duties in Lebanon. Their mission readiness exercise puts commanders and soldiers through a series of scenarios based on threats in the South Lebanon region.

Troops were to be asked to secure, extract and evacuate personnel involved in a complex attack. However due to the storm, tomorrow’s exercise in the Glen of Imaal has been cancelled.

Updated

A charity has warned those with severe asthma to check forecasts and stay indoors where possible to avoid the dust.

Toxic air could be a risk to people with asthma. If you have severe asthma check weather forecasts & stay indoors if possible #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/JuvlKIQ0eE

— Asthma UK (@asthmauk) October 16, 2017

Sonia Munde, head of the helpline at Asthma UK, said:

We are deeply concerned about the toxic air from Saharan dust that Hurricane Ophelia has churned up, as this could pose a severe risk for the 5.4 million people in the UK who have asthma. Winds picking up dust and particles in the air could trigger potentially fatal asthma attacks.

About 16,000 customers are without electricity in Northern Ireland. That number is expected to rise as winds continue to strengthen.

Here is a map Northern Ireland Electricity has produced outlining the areas where there are power outages this evening.

Updated

A member of the ruling Fine Gael party in the second chamber of the Irish parliament believes Ireland will be entitled to financial aid to help with reconstruction in the aftermath of Ophelia.

Senator Neale Richmond said the EU Solidarity Fund should be accessed. The fund was established by the EU in 2002 following severe floods in Central Europe. Since then it has been used to help out in disasters such as forest fires, floods and even earthquakes.

Richmond said:

Given the huge amount of damage inflicted across the country by Hurricane Ophelia, Ireland will be eligible for such funds.

Any application has to be received by the European commission within 12 weeks of any disaster occurring.

This not a rapid response tool but it will be vital to the post storm recovery and I have no doubt the government will apply to draw down these funds once the initial emergency and relief measures are attended to.

The interesting question will be whether Northern Ireland could apply to the same European fund via the Westminster government even as Theresa May negotiates the UK’s exit from the EU.

Updated

All schools across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are to remain closed on Tuesday as the authorities deal with the aftermath of Storm Ophelia.

The decision was taken to “avoid any potential risk to life for children and staff” after severe winds caused widespread damage to the electricity network, structural damage and uprooted trees.

Richard Bruton, Ireland’s education minister, said over 350,000 businesses and homes are already without power, severe winds continue to cause damage and many roads are closed due to fallen trees.

He said:

It is also the case that school authorities will in very many cases not have had an opportunity to check their buildings and confirm they are safe, have power and water, and that routes to the school are safely open.

Bruton admitted that the decision to close schools “will have a major impact on families and on the workforce.”

He added, however: “This decision has been taken in the interests of safety for children and to provide clarity for everyone concerned.”

Following careful consideration by the National Emergency Coordination Group, the Department of Education and Skills, has decided that all schools will remain closed tomorrow #Ophelia

— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) October 16, 2017

He said his department will issue guidance to schools in relation to making up lost days.

In relation to further and higher education Bruton said it was up to individual institutions to decide whether to open.

In Northern Ireland, the education department said schools have been advised to remain closed. The decision was taken following a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Group, after the Met Office advised it on “the prolonged nature and potential severity of the storm”.

@Education_NI confirm schools should remain closed on Tuesday 17 October 2017 https://t.co/Hbqxfhzg7l #Ophelia

— Education NI (@Education_NI) October 16, 2017

Derek Baker, permanent secretary, said:

I fully appreciate this decision will impact on the work of the schools and indeed on other businesses and services but the decision has been taken to avoid any potential risk to life for children and young people as well as staff.

Updated

The Irish government have announced emergency measures to keep the street homeless safe during Storm Ophelia.

Homeless people in Dublin are being picked up by buses and brought indoors and over 200 emergency bed spaces have been sourced in the city area.

Minister @EoghanMurphy provides update on homelessness services during Storm #Ophelia https://t.co/4IA3Lm62LR @HousingPress pic.twitter.com/WZlQvyyak7

— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) October 16, 2017

MerrionStreet, the Irish government’s news service says the priority across Ireland continues to be ensuring that any homeless person will have access to shelter during Storm Ophelia.

Across the country rough sleepers are being supported by charities and local authorities who are picking them by taxi and taking them to shelter.

A statement said:

Additional facilities providing shelter and supports to those who need them have opened up across the country today. Notices have been posted in relation to the extra facilities, cafes and emergency beds that are available in the system.

There have been over 100 calls to the emergency lines and to the rough sleeper email address from concerned members of the public in relation to homeless individuals. These have all been followed up on.

Eoghan Murphy, minister for housing, planning and local government, indicated that he will continue to keep matters under review and confirmed that he is making all the required supports and resources available to local authorities to ensure the safety of Ireland’s homeless and rough sleepers.

This is Nicola Slawson taking over from Haroon. Thanks for joining us. I’ll be keeping you up to date throughout the evening.

A number of flights to UK airports have been diverted after “smoke smells” were reported on board, the Press Association reports.

EasyJet said four of its flights were diverted due to “atmospheric circumstances” while a British Airways spokeswoman said the carrier has had “some reports of smells on board” but the aircraft continued to their destinations.

Five full emergency landings at London Heathrow today with smell of smoke in the cockpit due to dust from Sahara and Iberia Fires 🛬

— Flight Alerts ⚠ (@FlightAlerts777) October 16, 2017

Liverpool John Lennon Airport stated that “atmospheric conditions” are believed to be causing flights to divert.

An easyJet spokeswoman said: “EasyJet can confirm that four of its flights flying in the west of the UK have reported smoke smells in the cockpit today, believed to be linked to atmospheric circumstances due to storm Ophelia.

Two flights returned shortly after take-off and two flights requested an expedited landing as a precaution only. We understand other airlines have experienced similar events and we continue to liaise with the Met Office as to the likely cause. The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience experienced by the diversions.

BA said in a statement:

The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority. Our flights have been operating and landing normally, but we have been liaising with the Met Office about atmospheric conditions.

Updated

Summary

What we know so far:

  • Three people have been killed as tropical storm Ophelia batters Ireland with winds of more than 100mph. Waterford council said a woman was killed when high winds brought down a tree on her car in Aglish. A man in his early 30s died after an accident with his chainsaw while trying to clear a fallen tree in Ballybrado, Tipperary. Another man died in Ravensdale, near Dundalk, close to the border with Northern Ireland, when a tree struck his car.
  • At least 360,000 electricity customers are without power amid scores of reports of fallen trees and power lines. The network operator warned that the majority of those already affected would be without power tonight and 5% to 10% could be without electricity for up to 10 days. Northern Ireland was also affected, with 18,000 customers suffering a loss of power, including the Stormont parliament.
  • The force of Ophelia was such that it blew roofs of buildings in Cork. Douglas Community school saw the roof of its gym ripped off and the roof of Cork City football club’s stadium collapsed. A gust of 118mph was recorded off the coast of Ireland.
  • The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, issued a personal appeal for citizens of the Republic to remain indoors. He described the impact of Ophelia on Ireland as a “national emergency”.
  • All schools in the Republic of Ireland will remain closed tomorrow in the interests of “child safety”, the education minister announced. The Northern Ireland department of education followed suit. Cork airport said no more flights would be departing today, while public transport in the Republic of Ireland will not be resuming until 5am on Tuesday at the earliest.
  • Bill Clinton’s visit to Belfast was cancelled because of the storm. The former US president was due to meet political parties represented in the Stormont parliament to urge them to find a way to restore the power-sharing government. Government buildings in Northern Ireland have been closed.
  • The Met Office has extended an amber weather warning to parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England with winds threatening power cuts and falling debris. A series of flood alerts and warnings are in place for south west and north west England. Planes have been grounded at Manchester airport, with 20 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead before travelling to the airport.
  • Waves of up to 27ft high were recorded at sea as a rare warning for hurricane-force 12 winds was issued for shipping areas south of Ireland.
  • Parts of the UK were covered by an eerie red/orange sky. Experts said the hue was caused by Hurricane Ophelia dragging in tropical air and dust from the Sahara.

The number of customers without electricity in Northern Ireland has soared.

NIE says 18,000 customers are currently without power in NI amid Storm Ophelia: https://t.co/zaiu6VXPEu

— UTV Live News (@UTVNews) October 16, 2017

The department of education in Northern Ireland has followed in the footsteps of its southern Irish counterpart by instructing all schools to close tomorrow.

@Education_NI has announced that all schools should close tomorrow (Monday 16 October) as precautionary measure in light of weather warnings

— NI Executive (@niexecutive) October 15, 2017

The latest official update warns that storm Ophelia will “bring further violent and destructive winds for a time, with gusts of 120 and 150km/h”, as well as flooding, posing a threat to life and property.

Latest Met Éireann Weather Update - please remain indoors until the storm has passed #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/Dynv1APHzF

— Garda Info (@gardainfo) October 16, 2017

The Gardai have confirmed that another man has died in Ravensdale, near Dundalk, close to the border with Northern Ireland, as a result of a falling tree.

Updated

Ahead of her dinner in Brussels this evening, Theresa May spoke with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar this afternoon. She expressed her condolences over the loss of two lives so far in Ireland (since up to three) connected with storm Ophelia.

A Downing Street spokesman said:

On storm Ophelia, the prime minister expressed her sympathies for the loss of life and said the UK government stood ready to provide any support if requested.

Third person reported dead

A person in Dundalk, near the border with Northern Ireland, has died after a tree fell on their car, taking the death toll in Ireland as a result of the storm to three, Dublin-based station 98FM and others are reporting.

Schools in Ireland will not reopen tomorrow, the Irish minister for education has announced, citing the need to ensure child safety.

Following careful consideration by the National Emergency Coordination Group, the Department of Education and Skills, has decided that all schools will remain closed tomorrow #Ophelia

— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) October 16, 2017

This decision was primarily taken in the interests of child safety and on the basis of information available in what is a developing situation #Ophelia

— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) October 16, 2017

Updated

Unsurprisingly, Cork airport has said there will be no more flights today, with a video illustrating why.

No flights will depart @CorkAirport for the remainder of today. Please check arriving flight status with your airline in advance of travel pic.twitter.com/bzezFyJIHE

— Cork Airport (@CorkAirport) October 16, 2017

Northern Ireland Electricity has announced that 1,300 customers are without power as Storm Ophelia starts to batter the region this afternoon.

NIE is reporting what it describes as “widespread damage” across Northern Ireland. As the storm system rolls over the north of Ireland, the rail link between Belfast to Dublin has been temporarily shut down.

Updated

The Associated Press reports that the wind speed off Cork has reached 118mph.

Most powerful gust yet recorded as #Ophelia riles Ireland: 190 kph (118 mph) on Fastnet Rock off Cork coast. Photo from @IrishCoastGuard. pic.twitter.com/oY88TE5DM4

— Shawn Pogatchnik (@ShawnPogatchnik) October 16, 2017

Meanwhile wind speeds in Wales are also increasing, hitting 77mph.

Winds have increased markedly in west Wales over the last hour, top gust 77mph in Aberdaron. #Ophelia CF pic.twitter.com/md0BGXn7Yh

— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) October 16, 2017

Coastal defences in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, have been overwhelmed.

Coastal defences completely breached at Salthill, Galway. The Atlantic now extends to the promenade. #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/qF9B47Ty3i

— David Blevins (@skydavidblevins) October 16, 2017

Readers around Ireland and the UK have been getting in touch to share their experiences of the storm as it passes by where they live.

Crawford Deane, in Timoleague, south-west of Cork, shared images of trees strewn across local roads, which he said were mostly deserted:

Deane added: “I’m safely home, although had to abandon my van and walk home through fields near Farnivane. Since then the local mast and electrical substation are out.”

Conor Graham, in Cork, has described missile-like tiles flying off buildings and implores other readers to stay safe.

There are also multiple reports of that red-tinged sun – as experts have said debris from the storm is causing a haze in areas as far away as Chesterfield, Solihull and Surrey.

You can share your experiences using the form here or with the GuardianWitness contribute buttons on this page, but please think of your safety first when recording or sharing content.

Updated

360,000 homes without power

The Irish Republic’s Electricity Supply Board has said that 360,000 customers are now without power due to Storm Ophelia.

The energy supplier warned that more outages are expected and that repair operations could take several days. Meanwhile, power cuts are starting to happen in Northern Ireland, including at the Stormont Parliament, where Bill Clinton was meant to be visiting today.

An international photojournalist has contacted the Guardian with a graphic account of what it was like to be in an aircraft trying to land in Dublin in the middle of Storm Ophelia. You can see footage of another plane’s precarious landing in Dublin in an earlier update.

Writing from an Aer Lingus plane after it just touched down a few minutes ago, Paulo Nunes Santos wanted to praise the female pilot who guided flight EI483 from Lisbon safely home.

Santos, originally from Portugal but who has lived in Dublin for 15 years, said:

I’ve been in hundreds, if not thousands of flights, but never experienced this level of turbulence.

We only started feeling it more or less as we started approaching via Cork. The pilot was great. The plane shook like mad and the approach to the runway was the worst I have experienced. But the pilot, she was brilliant.

Oddly there was no panic among the passengers. Every clapped and applauded the pilot, we were told her name is Niamh Jennings. You feel the huge sense of relief in the plane.

Updated

Irish police have confirmed that a man in his 30s was killed while clearing a tree with a chainsaw in Ballybrado, Tipperary.

Irish death toll in #Ophelia rises to 2. Police say Tipperary man in 30s mortally wounded by own chainsaw as he cleared a felled tree. pic.twitter.com/bIaim1f8Xw

— Shawn Pogatchnik (@ShawnPogatchnik) October 16, 2017

Updated

Reports of a second death

There are reports of a second death from the storm. A man was killed trying to clear a tree with a chainsaw in Tipperary, according to the Irish Daily Mirror.

BREAKING: A man has been killed in Tipperary after trying to clear away a tree with a chainsaw. More to follow. #Ophelia

— Irish Daily Mirror (@IrishMirror) October 16, 2017

Second storm related death.@GardaTraffic report incident at Cahir, Co Tipp; man in his 30s killed clearing fallen trees.#Ophelia

— Jonathan Healy (@jonathanhealy) October 16, 2017

Earlier a woman was killed when a tree landed on her car in county Waterford.

Seán Hassett said he filmed his parents’ wobbly flight landing at Dublin. “My heart was in my mouth,” he tweeted.

My parents flight landing @DublinAirport, well done to the pilot of EI491, my heart was in my mouth! #ophelia pic.twitter.com/2EvzA1BKk6

— Seán Hassett (@SeanHassett) October 16, 2017

The Irish Coast Guard was called out to rescue kite surfers who got into difficulty off the coast of county Louth, north of Dublin.

CG, RNLI & R116 were tasked today to kite surfers in difficulty off Louth. We advise the public to stay away from the coast during #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/HkjNWQeBcR

— Irish Coast Guard (@IrishCoastGuard) October 16, 2017

Police in Ireland are warning people to stay away from the coast.

Gardaí are requesting people to stay away from waterways, cliff walks etc. People are not heeding the warnings given. #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/U2Fm8vzuJ9

— Garda Info (@gardainfo) October 16, 2017

Updated

The Environment Agency has three flood warnings and 13 flood alerts in place for south west and north west England.

Cumbria council has closed the Ford bridge in Burneside, near Kendal

#StormOphelia #weatheraware #Cumbria EMERGENCY CLOSURE: Ford Bridge, Burneside nr Kendal for public safety. pic.twitter.com/qYXOL16mga

— CumbriaCountyCouncil (@CumbriaCC) October 16, 2017

More strange light is being reported across the UK.

The sky is eerie. The end is nigh. pic.twitter.com/A1hKl3dxGp

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 16, 2017

Has anyone seen the red sun phenomenon caused by Hurricane #Ophelia!? Quite an effect - captured here by @RJSYork pic.twitter.com/Of1y8cGvT3

— York Minster (@York_Minster) October 16, 2017

#Sahara dust stopped play here at @TheAgeasBowl... 🌀 #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/5r8w4tI421

— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) October 16, 2017

Going out on patrol and noticed how orange the sky and sun are. Gorse Hill SNT #opheliahurricane pic.twitter.com/rmBTPXJqYV

— Worcester SNTs (@WorcesterCops) October 16, 2017

The sky is a weird yellowy/grey colour 😳#Ophelia is brewing, batten down the hatches!#TakeCareFolkspic.twitter.com/Kiqc01ZRGz

— Traffic Scotland (@trafficscotland) October 16, 2017

There are several reports of a strange dark orange light in northern England.

Strange light.
Very warm winds.#Ophelia pic.twitter.com/H8Nns73ewA

— Herdwick Shepherd (@herdyshepherd1) October 16, 2017

Bad light? 😳 #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/yJpk2kepJ4

— Durham CCC 🏏 (@DurhamCricket) October 16, 2017

Weather in Newcastle is so weird today. It's dark and the sky is like an orange-amber colour caused by this hurricane #ophelia #balls

— Tangerine Dream (@MattJWeaver) October 16, 2017

Earlier today a red looking sun was seen in many parts of England. The light is caused by particulates thrown up by the storm, according to experts.

All trains cancelled in Ireland

Irish Rail has cancelled all trains for the rest of the day.

No more train departures on any line on our network for rest of day. If safe to do so, all routes resume Tues 17 Oct https://t.co/ZOHwurtrN3 pic.twitter.com/nOinrxfZFI

— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) October 16, 2017

Schools in Pembrokeshire close

All schools in Pembrokeshire on the west of Wales coast have been closed, as disruption from Ophelia spreads to the UK.

At least four downed trees are causing traffic problems in the county, the council said.

Around 200 homes are without power in the Eglwyswrw area, including the school which had to close early. The council decided to close all of its schools at 1pm.

The number of homes and businesses without power has almost doubled to 230,000, according to RTE.

230,000 homes and businesses without power #ophelia

— RTÉ Radio 1 (@RTERadio1) October 16, 2017

Power cuts are no longer confined to the south-west of Ireland. Around a thousand homes are without power in Cong in County Mayo.

Approx 1,000 homes without power in Cong #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/CqjdUEWczx

— Mayo County Council (@MayoCoCo) October 16, 2017

Updated

The violent winds caused by Storm Ophelia has affected the filming of Game of Thrones.

Set building for the cult television series, a large part of which is filmed in Northern Ireland, has been suspended due to the storm.

Filming on the new Superman prequel series Krypton, which is also being shot in the region, has also been halted for the day due to safety fears.

Updated

The storm has ripped off roofs in Cork, according to dramatic footage and photographs.

#Ophelia blows the roof off a school in Cork. https://t.co/cvrRveXJsQ

— Caitriona Perry (@CaitrionaPerry) October 16, 2017

.@CorkCityFC roof lifting at their home ground in Turner's Cross #Cork #Ophelia https://t.co/0Y8tcjD0LV

— Greg Murphy 🤓 (@TheGregMurphy) October 16, 2017

Roof of Cork City's football stadium blows off as Ophelia batters south of Ireland https://t.co/szvfgPnIWP pic.twitter.com/KdYvim9hcH

— Independent.ie (@Independent_ie) October 16, 2017

Updated

The fatal accident occurred in Aglish in west Waterford around 11.40am.

The victim is a woman in her 20s and was travelling in the car with another woman who was also hurt. Reports from the county say the limb of a tree pierced the windscreen of the vehicle during the storm.

The woman was taken to Waterford University hospital but was pronounced dead before arriving. A woman in the car with her was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

#Garda statement on Aglish death. #ophelia pic.twitter.com/0WjqzNW147

— Michael O'Toole (@mickthehack) October 16, 2017

Updated

What we know so far

  • A woman has been killed in Waterford, south-east Ireland as Tropical Storm Ophelia batters Ireland with winds of more than 100mph. Waterford council said the woman was killed when high winds brought down a tree on her car in Aglish.
  • At least 120,000 homes and businesses are without power amid scores of reports of fallen trees and power lines. The main electricity supplier warned that it expects more to lose power by the end of the day and disruption could last all week.
  • The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, issued a personal appeal for citizens of the Republic to remain indoors. He described the impact of Ophelia on Ireland as a “national emergency”.
  • Bill Clinton’s visit to Belfast was cancelled because of the storm. The former US president was due to meet political parties represented in the Stormont parliament to urge them to find a way to restore the power-sharing government. Government buildings in Northern Ireland have been closed.
  • The Met Office has extended an amber weather warning to parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England with winds threatening power cuts and falling debris. A series of flood alerts and warnings are in place for south west and north west England. Planes have been grounded at Manchester airport, with 20 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead before travelling to the airport.
  • Waves of up to 27ft high were recorded at sea as a rare warning for hurricane-force 12 winds was issued for shipping areas south of Ireland.

Updated

The Irish Times has confirmed the death of a woman in a car in county Waterford.

A tree fell on the car in Aglish, Co Waterford this morning in which she was the only occupant, according to a spokeswoman for Waterford County Council.

In its latest update the electricity supplier ESB said 120,000 customers are without power.

It said:

  • 120,000 customers, predominantly in southern counties are left without power
  • Majority of customers currently without electricity will be without supply overnight
  • Crews across the country are in the process of responding to electricity outages, once it is safe to do so
  • Customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional

An increase in hurricane-force winds wreaking havoc across the Britain and Ireland is entirely consistent with global warming, according to scientists.

A warmer world means more energy in the climate system, especially in the oceans, which is where big storms derive their energy from.

“There is evidence that hurricane-force storms hitting the UK, like Ophelia, will be enhanced in the future due to human-induced climate change,” said Dr Dann Mitchell, at the University of Bristol. “While tropical hurricanes lose strength when they travel north, they can re-intensify due to the nature of the atmospheric circulation at UK latitudes. It is the rise in temperatures over most of the Atlantic that is a primary driver of this, a clear signature of human-induced climate change.”

In May, a report found that even the minimum global warming expected - an increase of 1.5C - is projected to increase the cost of windstorm destruction by more than a third in parts of the UK. If climate change heats the world even further, broken roofs and damaged buildings are likely to increase by over 50% across a swathe of the nation, the report found. Northern Ireland, facing Hurricane Ophelia on Monday, is the worst affected region of the UK.

However, the high winds battering the west coasts are not highly unusual, according to Julian Heming, tropical prediction scientist at the UK Met Office, said: “Wind gusts of up to 80mph are expected over the UK from ex-hurricane Ophelia. This kind of wind strength is not unusual for an autumn/winter storm in the UK. For example, four of the five named storms affecting the UK in 2016 recorded wind gusts in excess of 80 mph.”

The Met Office said that while unusual for hurricanes to impact the UK, it’s not unprecedented with Gordon impacting the UK in 2006 and Grace in 2009.

Updated

Woman reported killed in Waterford

The broadcaster RTE is reporting that a woman has been killed by fallen tree in Waterford

Woman killed by falling tree in Waterford - first casualty of #Ophelia

— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) October 16, 2017

Waterford council confirmed one fatality in Aglish in the south-west of the county.

"Waterford Council have confirmed one fatality in an incident Aglish" Co Waterford @damienrte tells #TodaySOR now #Ophelia

— Today Sean O'Rourke (@TodaySOR) October 16, 2017

Updated

Government buildings in Northern Ireland are to close at 1pm, PA reports.

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.

Guidance is to be issued later about school opening arrangements for Tuesday.

Updated

Here’s our news story rounding up the latest on the storm.

These before and after stills show trees uprooted by the storm.

Images from our Roches Point weather webcam.
Trees are coming down.
Roches Point has a mean wind speed of 111km/h
Gusts of 156km/h#Ophelia pic.twitter.com/NEsTvuob6M

— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 16, 2017

Anglesey county council, in north Wales, has instructed all schools to close after lunch because of the threat posed by Ophelia.

We're advising all schools to close after lunch due to @metoffice amber (wind) warning. Schools will inform parents of local arrangements.

— Isle of Anglesey CC (@angleseycouncil) October 16, 2017

This video, from Sky News’s Dublin correspondent, vividly illustrates the storm’s force:

WATCH: Flooding will now be a problem as eye of storm passes over south west of Ireland. #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/h5g2Ar2mle

— Darren McCaffrey (@DMcCaffreySKY) October 16, 2017

A series of flood alerts and flood watches are in force for south-west and north-west England.

Flood Alerts on N Devon & N Cornwall coasts due to very energetic waves & strong winds. More info on @EnvAgency : https://t.co/RSc51Fqxgs pic.twitter.com/SkOQQ3igfD

— Nick Ely (@Nick_Ely) October 16, 2017

Flood warnings issued for Chesil, Lyme Regis and West Bay. Strong winds forecast. Take care on the coast: https://t.co/QdPKdEYx15 pic.twitter.com/q3mLyWk7Iy

— Environment AgencySW (@EnvAgencySW) October 16, 2017

Updated

Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning…

A red sun being seen in parts of the UK has been caused by particulates thrown up by Ophelia, according experts.

There's so many particulates in the air because of #HurricaneOphelia that the sun in Exeter has turned red at 10am pic.twitter.com/e6fp2ZT6LN

— Simon Clark (@simonoxfphys) October 16, 2017

Anyone notice the red sun and strange light quality this morning? This has been caused by Saharan dust being drawn northwards by #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/KqN0D5EXfh

— Keele University (@KeeleUniversity) October 16, 2017

Updated

Belfast international airport has confirmed that it has cancelled 24 flights, most of them to or from the UK.

A spokesman said the airport is on standby to take diverted flights destined for Dublin including a number of transatlantic flights.

11.58 am
Find live flight information via this link- https://t.co/hneV94ny9a pic.twitter.com/U8PS6pz9FF

— Belfast Airport (@BelfastAirport) October 16, 2017

Updated

Up to 100,000 homes and businesses without power

Up to 100,000 homes and businesses in Ireland are now without power, according to Derek Hynes, operations manager of the electricity supplier ESB. He warned a news briefing that more homes will be without power by the end of the day.

He said:

We have, and we will have had, trees falling on our network over the course of this morning. We do have, and we have more, live electrical wires on the ground. Please stay safe by staying clear of all fallen electricity wires. We are approaching 100,000 homes and businesses without electricity. They are predominantly in an area from Cork city west and north up as far as Tralee.

That currently comprises a total of about 400 individual outages. Each one of these individual outages is a potential threat to members of the public in terms of fallen wires on the ground.

Updated

Reports of Ophelia making landfall

Storm watchers reckon Ophelia is making landfall in County Kerry.

Looks like #OPEHLIA's surface center is making landfall in Kerry County, near Valentia Island, #Ireland. #Hurricane gusts pounding coast. pic.twitter.com/eal6XMPoM9

— Josh Morgerman (@iCyclone) October 16, 2017

Looks like the core (not really "eye" anymore) of #Ophelia is about to make landfall on the south coast of Ireland pic.twitter.com/vVSzdHavGV

— Stephen Hicks (@seismo_steve) October 16, 2017

Broadcaster RTE also reports the storm making landfall

#Ophelia has made landfall - sustained winds in Roches Point of 93 km/h; gust of 131 km/h. Sherkin Island weather station down pic.twitter.com/SdRN6uhhvn

— RTE Weather (@WeatherRTE) October 16, 2017

Updated

Met Éireann has issued a new warning for “violent and destructive gusts” of up 93mph (150 kmph) across Ireland and even strong gusts in coastal and hilly areas.

It repeated a warning to life and property, with the strongest winds in the provinces of Munster and south Leinster.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
The National Hurricane Centre is no longer forecasting for #Ophelia
Please refer to Met Eireann for all official forecasts. pic.twitter.com/9lCbXNJdJc

— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 16, 2017

Updated

Ophelia forces Bill Clinton to postpone Stormont intervention

Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has appealed to the Irish public to stay indoors as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland.

Referring to the biggest storm recorded in Irish history, Debbie in the 1960s, he said: “The last time we had a storm this severe 11 lives were lost so safety is our number one priority.”

Speaking in Dublin before a cabinet meeting to co-ordinate Ireland’s response to the storm, Varadkar reminded the public that the red weather warning applied to all cities and all counties across Ireland.

And he warned that the danger to public safety was not over even after the storm had passed the island as there would be fallen trees and felled power lines, many of which could still be live, all across the country in the aftermath of Ophelia.

A media briefing by the Northern Ireland Office at Stormont today has been cancelled.

Former US president Bill Clinton was scheduled to speak in the city today and deliver an address urging Northern Ireland’s political parties to find a solution that would restore devolved government in the region.

During his trip Clinton was to hold talks with the parties represented at the Stormont assembly. Clinton was due to be in Ireland to receive an award from Dublin City University later on Monday evening.

BREAKING - @PA understands Storm Ophelia has forced @BillClinton to postpone Stormont crisis intervention.Talks w/ DUP/SF may now happen 2m.

— David Young (@DavidYoungPA) October 16, 2017

Updated

Kevin Moran, minister for flood relief, warned that the storm will bring flooding and widespread structural damage.

Speaking at that press conference in Dublin he said: “This storm is over 120km in width so it is going to do an awful lot of structural damage to the whole country. There is going to be flooding in some parts of the country, but we don’t know the level. This is unprecedented.

“What we are seeing happening in Cork at the present time and the amount of electricity that’s out, if that is to ripple right through then we’re faced with an awful problem tomorrow and right into the weekend.”

Asked whether the Irish government had done enough to prepare the country, Moran said: “That’s an unfair question. We have spoken to every local authority in the country.”

Varadkar said homeless people will be allowed to stay in hostels throughout the day to protect them from the storm.

Updated

Engineers from the UK are to travel to Ireland to help restore power, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told that press conference.

He said: “So far we don’t have any reports of any injuries, but we do have trees down and power outrages. About 15,000 are without power ... in Cork.

“Staff are ready to come in from Northern Ireland and Britain to assist in the coming days in restoring power. We can only restore the power lines when it is safe to do so.”

He added: “While in some parts of the country the storm is not yet that bad it is coming your way and this is a national red alert. It applies to all cities all counties and all areas.

“Even after the storm has passed there will still be dangers. There will be trees on the ground. There will be power lines down.”

An Taoiseach and Ministers briefing the Media and emphasising the need for the public to heed the public safety messages being issued pic.twitter.com/F5UMsLIPiV

— OEP (@emergencyIE) October 16, 2017

Updated

Wind speeds of more than 77 mph (124kmph) were recorded at Cork airport at 10am, while an offshore speed of more than 109 mph was recorded on Fastnet Rock.

Graphic of the max wind gusts to 10am.
Highest gusts since 10am:
Cork Airport 124km/h
Fastnet Rock (6.5km offshore) 176km/h#Ophelia pic.twitter.com/xbiGhh2OFE

— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 16, 2017

Updated

Varadkar urges people to stay indoors as the storm passes. He said the government’s priority is to avoid injury. So far no injuries have been reported, he said.

He urges people to work from home where possible.

Ireland’s taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, is giving a TV address.

Stream will be here: https://t.co/fECzoTMCp9 https://t.co/esLnwXQZ66

— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) October 16, 2017

Updated

22,000 homes in Ireland without power

There are now 22,000 customers hit with power cuts as lines are knocked down, according to the Electricity Supply Board in the Irish Republic.

An ESB spokeswoman appealed to the public to stay away from fallen power lines as many of them are still live.

Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is due to give a live TV address in the next few minutes.

Taoiseach @campaignforleo statement on #Ophelia at 1040am. News Special @RTEONE from 1030, @TodaySOR continues @RTERadio1 & live @RTENewsNow

— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) October 16, 2017

Gust of more than 100mph were recorded as Tropical storm Ophelia approaches the southern coast of Ireland. A speed of of 165kmph (103mph) was recorded at an amateur station in Durrus, in county Cork.

#Ophelia - Les vents deviennent désormais bien violents. Rafale à 165 km/h relevée sur une station amateur de Durrus #Irlande. pic.twitter.com/6TnM0H13YI

— Keraunos (@KeraunosObs) October 16, 2017

A speed of 92 was recorded at an official station on Fastnet Rock.

BREAKING: Met Eireann are reporting a gust of 92mph at #Fastnet Rock https://t.co/T1yhu8PzNT #Ophelia Alina

— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) October 16, 2017

Here’s satellite imagery from the National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center.

Here's our first look at post-tropical #Ophelia this morning as it barrels toward the SW coast of #Ireland with #hurricane force winds! pic.twitter.com/pmnZ6nr2Cg

— NWS OPC (@NWSOPC) October 16, 2017

And this is the latest forecast track from the Irish Met office, Met Eireann.

Here's the forecast track of #Ophelia
Note the strongest winds will be to the east of the centre of the storm. pic.twitter.com/t4RwSESOeV

— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 16, 2017

The storm has yet to make landfall.

Here’s a map showing the forecast path of the storm.

default

There are already 5,000 homes without electricity due to power lines coming down as Storm Ophelia hits the south and south-west of Ireland.

Most of the power outages so far are in Cork and Kerry, where police said trees and power lines have already been brought down.

With the red weather warning now extended to the entire Irish Republic, Gardai have advised people to stay indoors and only go out for essential journeys.

Dublin Bus has withdrawn all its services in the Irish capital from 10am to 6pm tonight.

In Northern Ireland meanwhile the lord chief justice has ordered all courts to be shut by 12.30pm. The Department of Agriculture has announced the closure of all forest parks in Northern Ireland for the day. The closure of all schools and colleges including universities is unprecedented for Northern Ireland.

Here’s the stormy scene in Ballyrisode, in Cork south-west Ireland.

Boiling Ballyrisode just now. #Ophelia #westcork #Mizen pic.twitter.com/v3Q4wL93NG

— Trish Deseine (@TrishDeseine) October 16, 2017

Updated

Amber weather warning extended

The Met Office has extended an amber weather warning to parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England threatening power cuts and falling debris.

Amber Warning of Wind for SW Scotland, Lothian Borders https://t.co/xpzna8ZcmY pic.twitter.com/hryWJeBvUX

— Met Office warnings (@metofficeScot) October 16, 2017

It said:

A spell of very windy weather is expected today in association with ex-Ophelia. Longer journey times and cancellations are likely, as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected as well as some bridge closures. There is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage. Flying debris is likely, such as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts with beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties. This leads to the potential for injuries and danger to life. This warning has been updated to extend it into parts of north and west Wales and into the extreme south-west of Scotland.

Updated

The storm has already brought down trees and power lines in south-west Ireland, according to the Irish police.

In a video appeal, assistant commissioner Michael Finn said:

This storm has arrived. Speaking to colleagues down in the south west this morning we have trees down in County Kerry, we have trees and power lines down in west Cork already this morning. This is just the start of the storm.

I would appeal particularly to motorcyclists, cyclist and drivers of high-sided vehicles – you are particularly vulnerable out there this morning. So unless your journey is absolutely essential we don’t want you to put yourselves or indeed the emergency services at risk by being out in the road.

We want to appeal also to people in the coastal areas, while it might be attractive to go to see some of these sights, you are putting yourself at serious risk by being in those areas ...

We have gusts of up to 150 kmph arriving right now on our coasts, so be prepared.

@CorkHarbourWX tree down near Killeagh pic.twitter.com/jQ9aoOCwz4

— Conor Power (@Irishgooner101) October 16, 2017

Updated

We’d like to hear from you if you’ve been affected by Ophelia or any of the associated disruption.

You can share your pictures, videos and stories with us via this callout, or you can also message the Guardian on WhatsApp by adding the contact+44(0)7867825056. We’ll use a selection of your responses as part of our reporting.

Please think of your safety first before recording or sharing any content with us.

It’s a rapidly moving picture on the island of Ireland. In the last few minutes the Met Office in Northern Ireland has said the storm will now start battering the region around 12pm and adverse conditions will continue right up to midnight.

The Met Office said there would be “short, sharp bursts of winds” of up to 80mph in Northern Ireland but the mean wind speed for the whole day could be up to 50mph.

Start time for Amber Warning for Wind brought forward to midday. Keep up to date with warnings with our App and social media. https://t.co/5HrH21vfMo

— Met Office warnings (@metofficeNI) October 16, 2017

The wind is whipping up a sandstorm on a beach in Ballinspittle on the Cork coast, according to RTE’s Stephen Murphy.

#ophelia - just got caught in a sandstorm in Ballinspittle. Gale force winds in Kinsale#storm #StormOphelia pic.twitter.com/OvHkbl2xK3

— Stephen Murphy (@SMurphyTV) October 16, 2017

The Met Office in Belfast has said conditions will be at their worst from around 3pm today across Northern Ireland.

It added that the storm will continue across the region until around 10pm tonight. So far 11 flights have been cancelled from Belfast City airport due to the storm.

And in central Belfast, St Patrick’s soup kitchen will open later this afternoon to shelter the city’s homeless from Storm Ophelia throughout the day.

In Derry some shops in the Foyleside shopping centre, including Debenhams, have closed for the day as the public in the city have been urged to stay indoors and not travel if at all possible.

Amber Warning of Wind for Northern Ireland https://t.co/xlWycFRdHy pic.twitter.com/CjSck4yrgL

— Met Office warnings (@metofficeNI) October 16, 2017

Updated

The coming storm seems to have spooked the crows in Cork.

Updated

As Storm Ophelia barrels towards Ireland, the Irish president, Michael D Higgins, has issued an appeal for people to heed the warnings about the dangers it poses.

Speaking from Australia where he is on a state visit, Higgins said he hoped everyone “took the necessary precautions” to protect life and property when the storm reaches the Republic from the middle of the morning onwards.

President Higgins urged people to follow Government advice and take precautions in advance of hurricane #Ophelia making landfall today.

— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) October 15, 2017

Ireland’s transport minister, Shane Ross, has warned of huge disruption to the country’s transport network today.

Ross said he was urging the public not to travel if at all possible on Monday.

There are 140 flights cancelled from Ireland, Bus Éireann has announced all its school services are shut and the Garda Siochana have urged cyclists not to go out on their bikes today.

Colleges and schools in the Republic and Northern Ireland are all closed for the day, with the Irish weather service, Met Eireann, warning again today on RTE radio that Ophelia still has the “potential for hurricane force winds and hurricane force gusts”.

Ophelia is expected to the south and south-west of Ireland around 10am.

Updated

People in many parts of Ireland have been warned to stay indoors at various times of the day while the storm passes. A general warning not to cycle today is also in force from Transport for Ireland.

. @MetEireann advises the public to stay indoors from these times: @emergencyIE #Ophelia https://t.co/xsWqPe1RrD pic.twitter.com/MelCSS6hia

— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) October 16, 2017

Due to #ophelia @GardaTraffic have urged motorists & the public not to make non-essential journeys - they advise people not to cycle at all

— TransportForIreland (@TFIupdates) October 16, 2017

The bus service in Dublin has warned that all buses in the city will be withdrawn from 10am.

#DBSvcUpdate #Ophelia - Dublin Bus services to be withdrawn at 10.00. For regular updates check https://t.co/0uRvRD7axh pic.twitter.com/2zQiTADloy

— Dublin Bus (@dublinbusnews) October 16, 2017

Updated

Waves of almost 27ft high have been recored south-west of Ireland as the storm heads towards landfall, Dave Throup a seasoned storm watcher from the UK’s Environment Agency notes.

Weather buoy off SW Ireland now recoding 27ft waves as ex Hurricane Ophelia approaches. pic.twitter.com/cnGlSddKLg

— Dave Throup (@DaveThroupEA) October 16, 2017

To put that in perspective.... pic.twitter.com/HKuqmyJxGF

— Tim Everett (@Thehairyhaggis) October 16, 2017

No sign of any such waves near the Irish coast yet, but the wind is picking up according to RTE’s Brian O’Connell in Portmagee, on Ireland’s south-west coast.

Gusts have really picked up here in Portmagee, Kerry. #OPHELIA @TodaySOR pic.twitter.com/6lGjYFlL1G

— Brian O'Connell (@oconnellbrian) October 16, 2017

This is Matthew Weaver with live coverage on the impact of ex-hurricane Ophelia which is due to make landfall in the next hour.

It is expected to batter Ireland and Northern Ireland with gusts of up to 80mph, threatening widespread disruption and life-threatening conditions.

The weather system has weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm, but Ireland’s Met Office has issued a red weather warning, meaning potential danger to life.

Schools in Ireland have been closed along with many government buildings and courts.

Southern and western coasts are set to bear the initial brunt in the morning before it moves north. A rare warning of hurricane force 12 winds was issued in Monday’s shipping forecast for areas south and west of Ireland.

It said: “Severe gale nine to violent storm 11 occasionally hurricane force 12 at first in North Fitzroy, Sole, Fastnet and Shannon.”

An amber warning is in place for Northern Ireland, with the UK Met Office warning of potential power cuts, and disruption to transport and mobile phone reception. Flying debris such as roof tiles could be a danger to life, it said.

An #amber weather warning for Ex-Hurricane #Ophelia has been issued, but what does that mean? Stay #weatheraware https://t.co/EFVGlpF0N1 pic.twitter.com/dpFKpp5XD6

— Met Office (@metoffice) October 16, 2017

The storm has arrived 30 years and a day after the Great Storm of October 1987.

Updated

Contributors

Nicola Slawson (now) and Haroon Siddique and Matthew Weaver (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

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