3 killed as Hurricane Ophelia hits the UK

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are experiencing some of the most extreme weather the island has seen in decades following the wrath of Hurricane Ophelia, according to Daily Mail.

As a result, schools and hospitals are closed, many public transport and aviation services have ceased operations and the army has been sent to shore-up flood defenses in what has been called an “unprecedented storm” by Ireland’s meteorological office.

Two people were killed in separate incidents when trees fell on their cars — a woman in her fifties in the southeast and a man on the east coast. Another man in his thirties died while trying to clear a fallen tree in an incident involving a chainsaw.

Describing it as an unprecedented event that would effect every part of the country for days, Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board said, over 360,000 homes and businesses were without electricity with another 100,000 outages expected by nightfall.

The extreme weather is the effect of Hurricane Ophelia which was downgraded to a tropical storm and on Monday morning was declared a “post-tropical cyclone” by the National Hurricane Centre.

Similarly, the U.K.’s Met Office declared an amber warning on Monday, warning that parts of Northern Ireland, west Wales, northern England and Scotland could be hit by “a spell of very windy weather associated 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,” the U.K. Met Office said on its website.

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