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Storm Ali: Two killed as severe winds lash British Isles


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Media captionThe caravan was swept away in County Galway

Two people have died after Storm Ali swept across parts of the British Isles, bringing winds of up to 100mph.

A woman died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff in the Irish Republic, while in Northern Ireland a man was killed by a falling tree.

Others have been injured, including a woman who was badly hurt when a tree fell on a car in Cheshire.

Thousands of homes are without power, lorries have overturned and a cruise ship has broken free from its moorings.

A yellow warning, meaning “be aware”, is in place for Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England until 22:00 BST.

Ali is the UK’s first named storm of the season.

A man in his 20s was killed and another in his 40s was injured, after a tree fell on them at the gates of Slieve Gullion Forest Park, near Newry, County Armagh.

The men were working on behalf of Northern Ireland Water.

It is understood the woman who was killed in County Galway was a tourist in her 50s who had been staying at a campsite in Claddaghduff.

Cheshire Police said a woman in Crewe was taken to hospital with serious injuries after a tree fell on a car on the A49.

And in Scotland, a man had to be rescued by emergency services after becoming trapped underneath a digger in a river during strong winds.

A 102mph gust was recorded on the Tay Road Bridge between Dundee and Fife at 15:00.

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West Midlands Fire Service

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This home-owner in Sandwell, West Midlands, had a lucky escape after a tree was blown down

Earlier a “major incident” was declared in Dumfries and Galloway, where a number of people were hurt by flying debris.

Children in the area were told not to walk home from school until the weather subsided.

Dumfries and Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team said some children had been injured by flying debris.

The team said the “major incident” had now ended.

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PA

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This Boeing 737 managed to land in torrential rain at Leeds Bradford Airport, but many other flights are disrupted

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PA

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Tugs were sent to assist the cruise liner Nautica, which broke from its moorings

Earlier, a freight train derailed on the Highland Main Line after striking fallen branches.

And strong winds also caused a cruise ship to slip its moorings in the port of Greenock, Inverclyde.

Oceania Cruises said all guests and crew were safe and tugs had been called in to assist.

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Getty Images

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People in Blackpool brave the winds

Thousands of homes and businesses are still without power in Scotland.

Power cuts and fallen trees have also caused disruption in Cumbria, where residents were warned of flying debris.

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Tony McKenzie

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A trampoline lifts off in Shifnal, Shropshire

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Media captionWeather presenter Chris Fawkes says winds of 115mph were recorded in the Scottish mountains

Travel disruption:

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CUMBRIA ROADS POLICE

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Cumbria Roads Police says this HGV was overturned on the M6 due to wind

  • The M6 was closed northbound between J43 and J44 after a lorry was blown over – although lanes have now reopened
  • The Tay Road Bridge between Fife and Dundee was shut for much of the day, but later reopened to cars only
  • Glasgow Airport had a number of cancellations and there was further disruption expected at Belfast International Airport
  • Virgin trains running between Preston and Glasgow may be cancelled or delayed due to speed restrictions
  • Trains to and from Glasgow Central station were suspended
  • ScotRail is is advising against all but essential travel, with a number of routes suspended due to trees on the line or overhead wires being damaged

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PA

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Fallen trees like this one in Belfast are causing disruption

In Northern Ireland, about 65,000 homes were without power, while two councils closed some public spaces because of the storm.

Belfast City Council said it had closed all its parks, pitches and playgrounds, while Derry City and Strabane District Council closed all its parks and cemeteries “until further notice”.

Belfast Zoo was also closed due to the weather.

Dozens of roads are known to have been affected, with a number closed by fallen trees.

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Nick Edgington / Twitter

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Storm Ali brought spectacular lightning over the west coast of Scotland

BBC Weather said on Wednesday evening that the wind had dropped – although the yellow warning remains in force across the whole of Scotland, and parts of North Wales and northern England.

Those areas are likely to experience gusts of up to 60 mph but could face similar levels of danger and damage.

BBC Weather said the storm could have a greater impact because of the time of year.

It said most trees were still in full leaf and were “acting like sails”, making it more likely they could be pulled over and cause travel problems.


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