Belfast Telegraph

Woman dead after caravan blown off cliff as Storm Ali strikes

The first named storm of the season has brought high winds.

Waves crash over the marina wall in Brighton, East Sussex, as stormy weather arrives across the UK (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Waves crash over the marina wall in Brighton, East Sussex, as stormy weather arrives across the UK (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A woman has died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff in Storm Ali which is battering Ireland and parts of the UK.

The first named storm of the season brought high winds to the west of Ireland where the caravan was blown onto a beach at Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway, on Wednesday morning.

Irish police said the body of a woman in her fifties was found after a search on the beach.

The RTE broadcaster said the victim was sleeping at the time when strong winds lifted the caravan from the ground.

It said the dwelling was blown onto a stretch of coastline and is not submerged in water.

Irish forecaster Met Eireann said the strongest gusts in the hour leading up to 10am reached speeds of 120km/h (74.5mph) at Mace Head in County Galway, 98km/h (60.9mph) at Dublin Airport and 107km/h (66.5mph) at Shannon.

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, England.

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

Travel disruption, power cuts and flying debris are possible as the storm sweeps through, with severe gales and heavy rain forecast for a large part 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.

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(PA Graphics)

There is also potential for damage to buildings, fallen trees, travel cancellations, road closures and large waves in coastal areas.

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

Traffic Scotland said the Forth Road Bridge is closed to all vehicles and pedestrians.

ScotRail said the storm was causing disruption to services, tweeting: “We’ve got a tree blocking tracks at #DumbartonCentral which has damaged overhead wires, and also reports of overhead wire damage at #Partick. We’ll provide an update as soon as we can.”

Dublin Airport said the storm would have an impact on its schedule and warned of cancellations.

Gale-force gusts began to be recorded on the Galway coast as heavy rain moved in.

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

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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 is forecast to be in the north, although areas outside the official weather warnings are 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 will 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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