Republic of Ireland news

Red warning issued as Storm Barra set to batter Ireland with 130km winds

Monster waves leap the cliffs at Portrush as Storm Arwen swept along the coast last week. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
James Ward, PA

Winds of over 130km per hour are set to batter the island tomorrow with a red weather warning in place as Storm Barra approaches.

Met Éireann has warned that disruption to travel and the power supply are likely, along with coastal flooding.

Cork and Kerry have been hit with a red warning, while an orange level warning is in place for much of the east and west coast.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the storm would be “very, very serious” and urged people to avoid the coast “at all costs”.

He said: “Tomorrow will be a very, very difficult day from a storm perspective.

“It’s very, very serious and we would urge people to stay at home unless necessary in terms of travel, particularly in the counties concerned.

“Watch out for the weather alerts. I think it’s very important that we get the message out there to the public at large, that we are dealing with a very, very serious storm in Storm Barra, tomorrow and right through to Wednesday.

“We have been issuing, in the last 24 hours, warnings to people, particularly near coastlines. People must avoid the coast at all costs.

“Particularly in those counties where we have a strong orange alert or red alerts, travel should be kept to a minimum.

“The usual precautions in terms of falling trees should be adhered to. This is a very, very severe storm.”

In Northern Ireland, the Met Office has issued a status yellow warning, with the possibility of disruption to travel, power cuts and damage to buildings.

They warn of a “small chance” that injuries and danger to life could occur “from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties”.

The Irish Coast Guard has urged the public to avoid any activities that could expose them to “unnecessary danger”.

The red warning will take affect from 6am on Tuesday until 9pm that night.

Orange-level warnings will be in place from Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Wexford from 6am on Tuesday until 6am on Wednesday.

An orange warning will also take effect in Dublin, Louth, Wicklow and east Meath from 8am until 1pm on Tuesday.

A yellow warning will be in place for the rest of the country from 2am on Tuesday until 6pm on Wednesday.

A yellow warning will also be in place across Northern Ireland from 6am on Tuesday until 9am on Wednesday.

“Southwesterly winds later veering northwesterly will reach mean speeds in excess of 80 km/h with severe or damaging gusts in excess of 130km/h,” Met Eireann warned on Monday.

“Due to a combination of high waves, storm surge and high tide, coastal flooding is expected. Disruption to power and travel are likely.”

In Northern Ireland, the Met Office said “strong winds and heavy rain bring a risk of some travel disruption and flooding”.

They said there is a chance roads and bridges could close, buildings flooded, tiles blown from roofs and power cuts could impact mobile phone coverage.

Meanwhile, people living in coastal communities have been urged to prepare for Storm Barra’s imminent arrival, and avoid unnecessary risks.

“Walkers are advised to avoid any exposed areas, including seafront and cliff walkways, as they may be hit by sudden gusts, exposing themselves to unnecessary danger,” a statement said. “All other forms of open-water recreation should be avoided, including by experienced practitioners, as it may result in arousing public concerns and causing rescue services to be alerted.”

Coast Guard Operations Manager Micheal O’Toole appealed to the public to remain vigilant, to avoid any unnecessary travel and to monitor Met Eireann weather forecasts.

He said: “Remember Stay back, Stay high, Stay dry.

“If you see somebody in trouble on the water or on the coast dial 112 or use marine VHF channel 16, and ask for the Coast Guard.”

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