Hurricane Ophelia update: 2 dead, 230,000 without electricity, Peter McVerry response to homeless citizens

This is the latest on the effects of Hurricane Ophelia nationwide.

Hurricane Ophelia has so far resulted in the death of two people. The first was a woman in Co. Waterford. Reported to be in her mid-20s, she was killed after her car was struck by a falling tree outside Aglish, Co. Waterford at 11.40am.

The second was a man in his 30s who died in Cahir, Co. Tipperary after attempting to move a fallen tree.

Another woman in her mid-50s has been injured and taken into care at Waterford Regional Hospital. Her condition is said to be non-life threatening.

Approximately 230,000 homes are reported to be without electricity at present.

Leo Varadkar: "It's important people are heeding the warnings we're giving them"

Speaking after a series of meetings with the National Emergency Co-Ordination Group at the Department of Agriculture, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has issued a series of safety instructions nationwide, while insisting people should not treat Hurricane Ophelia as "anything other than a national emergency."

The instructions are as follows:

1. Stay indoors until the storm has passed.

2. Check on the wellbeing of neighbours, in particular those who are either elderly or living alone.

3. Since Met Eireann's has set the hurricane as a national red alert, people should anticipate that the storm, while not currently bad still "is coming your way."

4. Even after the storm, steer clear of fallen trees and electrical power lines.

"It's important people are heeding the warnings we're giving them," Varadkar continued. "The sense I have around the country is people have heeded the warning, I do have a concern though that believe people the storm isn't going to be as bad as predicted."

"I think as everyone knows at this stage, storm Ophelia is a very dangerous storm. The last time we had a storm this severe 11 lives were lost."

Gusts in Cork destroy Turners Cross Stadium and Sports Hall roof

In Cork City, Turners Cross Stadium has incurred severe damage as a result of the hurricane's winds, which have so far resulted in the collapse of one of the stands on the St. Anne's end.

Also in Cork, the roof of the sports hall at Douglas Community School was torn off after gusts reached approximately 85 km/h.

Fallen Trees Across Dublin

In Dublin, it is reported that a number of trees have collapsed on Eglington Road, Miltown, Leeson Street and Ranelagh.

In the city centre, a sign has collapsed on Exchequer Street around 13.00 as many of the stores and businesses closed up early.

Controversially, while Dunnes Stores and many chains did not open today, Tesco remained open only to announce after 13.00 that "All stores in Ireland are now closed... We thank all our colleagues today who did their best to serve customers this morning."

Support for Homeless Citizens

In Clonskeagh, the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland made the announcement that it would be "opening its doors to neighbours in need during hurricane Ophelia", while "the large events hall will be opened to the homeless for 24 hour with hot teas, coffees, and snacks provided."

An appeal has since been issued by the ICCI for the donation of sleeping bags and blankets.

Peter McVerry Trust has also issued a statement, in which it "is implementing its emergency response protocols" for all those who are in homeless services and sleeping rough.

In Dublin, "The Street Outreach Team... have been instructed to strongly encourage all rough sleepers that they encounter to access emergency shelter or other homeless services. Peter McVerry Trust will provide transport support to enable rough sleepers to take up these options."

In Kildare, "Our Newbridge service and Athy Family Hub have been designated safe spaces for rough sleepers in the county and we are coordinating efforts with local groups at Kildare County Council. Transport is available to bring people to these services."

"Our service at St Catherine Foyer, Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8 will offer additional exceptional spaces to provide emergency overnight placements for 25 people. "

"Peter McVerry Trust is to open up the communal spaces (Kitchens, Dining Rooms & Living Rooms) at specific, appropriate city centre homeless services (Richmond Street and Aungier Street) to provide exceptional, emergency shelter to people sleeping rough."

"Peter McVerry Trust has set aside additional space at our service in Firhouse, South Dublin and will be taking in rough sleepers from the South Dublin area."

"Peter McVerry Trust homeless youth café at 12/13 Berkeley Street, Dublin 7 will operate on extended hours tomorrow, Monday 16th October, providing a safe and secure space to homeless person tomorrow all day and evening."

And Simon Coveney's shed has come down

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has Tweeted pictures of his shed roof, which also came off today.

 

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