Storm Ali: Woman dies after caravan blown off cliff in Ireland
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.
As Ali rolled in on Wednesday morning the Met Office updated its amber weather warning of wind, saying there is now a high likelihood of impacts across a swathe of the UK.
Forecasters have warned of gusts of 65-75mph inland across Northern Ireland, parts of Scotland, north-east England and north-west England.
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.
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.
Gale-force gusts began to be recorded on the Galway coast as heavy rain moved in, although the worst of the weather was not expected to be seen until later on Wednesday morning.
Forecasters in Ireland issued a Status Orange wind warning for more than half the country due to the storm.
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.
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.
This story first appeared on our sister title the Belfast Newsletter.