Belfast Telegraph

Two dead as Storm Ali brings gusts of more than 100mph

A woman was killed after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff, while a man died after being hit by a tree as he worked in a country park.

Two people have died as Storm Ali swept across the UK and Ireland, bringing wind speeds of more than 100mph.

A woman was killed after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff, while a  man died after being hit by a tree as he worked in a country park.

A second man was injured during the incident at Slieve Gullion Park in County Armagh on Wednesday afternoon.

It is understood the men were doing contract work for Northern Ireland Water.

The man who died was aged in his 20s. The injured man, who is aged in his 40s, was taken to hospital.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the incident was being investigated by the region’s Health and Safety Executive.

Earlier on Wednesday, the body of a woman – aged in her 50s and understood to have been a Swiss tourist – was found after a search on a beach at Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway.

The caravan she was in was lifted by strong winds and blown down a rocky incline of some 15 feet.

The caravan could be seen smashed to pieces on rocks and on the sand.

Meanwhile, a woman was seriously injured after a tree fell on to her car in Tarporley, Cheshire.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to Forest Road just after 1.30pm when the tree fell on the car, trapping the woman inside.

Firefighters worked with a tree surgeon to help remove the tree before cutting the roof of the vehicle off and freeing the woman.

She was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

In Scotland, emergency services were called to rescue a man who became trapped beneath a digger in a river during strong winds.

The incident happened at around 10am at Rogart in the Highlands.

He was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured rib.

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(PA Graphics)

More than 70,000 homes have been left without power across Scotland.

Gusts of 102.2mph hit the Tay Road Bridge in Dundee at 3pm, according to bridge equipment.

The Forth Road Bridge, Clackmannanshire Bridge and Queensferry Crossing have put restrictions in place – while the Tay Road Bridge was shut to all traffic.

Elsewhere, tug boats were called to the Nautica cruise ship which slipped its berth in Greenock.

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(PA Graphics)

Strong winds saw the vessel – which had 478 passengers and 26 crew – leave the dock after its mooring lines parted. There have been no reports of injuries.

A section of Princes Street in Edinburgh was closed after parts of a shop roof flew off in strong winds.

Police Scotland was alerted to lead falling from the Topshop building at around 12.30pm on Wednesday.

The Met Office said gusts of 91mph hit Killowen in County Down, 77mph winds were recorded in Kirkcudbrightshire in Scotland, 74mph gusts hit Capel Curig in Wales and 68mph was recorded in St Bees Head, Cumbria.

Irish forecaster Met Eireann said strongest gusts in the hour leading up to 1pm include 104km/h (64.6mph) at Dublin Airport, 93km/h (57.8mph) at Knock Airport and 83km/h (51.6mph) at Shannon Airport.

Forecasters in Ireland issued a Status Orange wind warning for more than half the country due to the storm.

As Ali rolled in, the Met Office updated its amber weather warning of wind, saying there is a high likelihood of impacts across a swathe of the UK.

The weather alert, which is in place until Wednesday evening, warns that flying debris is likely and could lead to injuries or danger to life.

A less severe yellow warning for wind is in place until Wednesday night.

ScotRail said it was dealing with “severe disruption” across all of Scotland and advised people not to travel.

Dublin Airport said it has had more than 70 cancellations and 10 diversions.

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Efforts to move a fallen tree on Finglass Road by Glasnevin Cemetary, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Photos posted on social media showed trees down in Galway, while Dublin Fire Brigade posted about falling trees damaging cars, with one photo showing a smashed windscreen.

The worst of Ali’s weather was expected in the north, although areas outside the official weather warnings were unlikely to escape wet and windy conditions.

While southern parts of England and Wales could reach continued unseasonable highs of up to 24C (75F), it was expected to feel cooler due to the strong winds, Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said.

The unsettled weather is due to last right through the week, but an improvement is expected early next week as drier weather is set to take hold.

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(PA Graphics)

Ali is first on the storm names list for 2018-19 announced by the Met Office and Met Eireann, which has run the Name Our Storms scheme for four years.

The season’s names have been compiled from a list of submissions by the public, choosing some of the most popular names and also selecting those which reflect the nations, culture and diversity of the UK and Ireland.

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