Hurricane Ophelia update: Third death confirmed, schools will remain closed tomorrow

Hurricane Ophelia death toll is now at three people after a man was killed in his car by a falling tree north of Dundalk Co. Louth, while the number of houses and businesses without electricity hits 360,000.

Schools nationwide will be closed tomorrow

The Department of Education has announced that primary and secondary schools nationwide will remain closed tomorrow. Commenting via Twitter on the decision, Minister of Education and Skills Richard Bruton said this "was primarily taken in the interests of child safety and on the basis of information available in what is a developing situation."

"It is also the case that school authorities will in very many cases not have had an opportunity to check their buildings and confirm they are safe, have power and water, and that routes to the school are safely open".

"While it is recognised that some schools may not be as badly impacted as others, the information available at this time indicates that over 350,000 businesses & homes are already without power, and severe winds continue to cause damage across the country as the storm progresses. "

Floods in Salthill, Galway

Galway, having been one of the first counties given a status red weather warning has since seen flooding along the coastal areas, in particular along the promenade, roads and car parks in Salthill.

Issuing a response to the current situation, the Local Co-Ordination Group for Galway City has urged residents to remain indoors "until after the storm lessens later."

"Members of the public are again advised to remain indoors during the severe weather and avoid non-essential travel. Do not to attempt to remove fallen trees. Falling slates, branches and other debris remain a serious risk and members of the public are advised to stay indoors."

Despite the warnings, a number of videos have surfaced online of locals swimming in the Atlantic at Salthill.

Strongest gusts on eastern and southern flank

So far, the strongest recorded winds measured were at Fastnet Rock, located 6km off the coast of West Cork, where gusts are said to have reached 191km/h.

Roches Point has had gusts recorded at 156km/h, Sherkin Island measured 135km/h before its weather station lost power, Cork Airport measured 126km/h before it too lost its power, and Shannon Airport measured 122km/h.

Peter McVerry Trust support 100 victims of homelessness so far

On Twitter, Peter McVerry Trust report that, as part of their emergency response they have so far engaged with "almost 100 people", the "vast majority rough sleepers".

Appealing to the general public, they wrote "If you come across a person sleeping rough in Dublin please advise that individual to go to the nearest Peter McVerry Trust service or call our head office on 01 823 0776 or email info@pmvtrust.ie or call our National Director of services Brian Friel on 087 0522805."

 

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