NEWS
19/09/2018 09:55 BST | Updated 19/09/2018 17:02 BST

UK Weather: Woman Dies As Storm Ali Flings Caravan Off Cliff

The victim's body was found on the beach below.

  • Two people killed in Storm Ali 
  • School pupils banned from walking home in parts of Scotland due to flying debris
  • Tay Road Bridge in Dundee closed amid 91.7mph gales 
  • Section of Princes Street in Edinburgh closed after shop roof blows off 
  • Cruise ship detached from moorings in Inverclyde
  • V&A museum in Dundee offering refuge from the winds 
  • Amber and yellow warnings issued for Cumbria 
  • Woman seriously injured in Cheshire

A woman has died after the caravan she was staying in was blown off a cliff by Storm Ali in the west of Ireland. 

Police and emergency services rushed to the scene in Claddaghduff, Co Galway, but were unable to save the woman, who is believed to be in her 50s. 

A spokesman confirmed: “At approximately 7.45am a report was received that a caravan had blown of the cliff at the above location. 

PA
The scene in Claddaghduff, in Co Galway after a woman died when her caravan was blown off a cliff in Storm Ali 
PA Wire/PA Images
Workmen deal with a fallen tree by Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin 

“A search was carried out on the beach and after a short time the body of a female in her 50s was recovered.” 

Irish President Michael D Higgins said: “I was deeply saddened to learn that Storm Ali has already claimed one victim today in Claddaghduff, Co Galway... may I express my deepest condolences to her family.”

Workmen are at the scene removing the fragments of the caravan, which is understood to have blown down a rocky incline of some 15 feet. 

By Wednesday afternoon it was confirmed another person had lost their life in the storm after a man was hit by a tree as he worked in a country park in Northern Ireland. 

It is understood he was doing contract work for Northern Ireland Water when the incident happened in Slieve Gullion Park, near Newry, Co Down.

The man who died was aged in his 20s. Another man, aged in his 40s, was taken to hospital.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the incident was being investigated by the region’s Health and Safety Executive.

A woman was also left seriously injured after a tree fell onto her car in Cheshire.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to Forest Road in Tarporley just after 1.30pm when the tree fell on the car, trapping the woman inside.

Firefighters worked with a tree surgeon to help remove the tree before cutting the roof of the vehicle off and freeing the woman.

She was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

A statement posted on the Crewe police Twitter account said: “The A49, Forest Road, has now reopened to traffic. It had been shut earlier after a tree fell on a car. One woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries.”

A total of 55,000 homes and businesses, mainly in the south west of Ireland, have been left without power due to the bad weather, the Electricity Supply Board said. There are around 32,000 homes without electricity in Northern Ireland and NI Electricity said it expects the number to rise. 

Forecasters have issued a Status Orange wind warning for more than half the country due to the storm.

Travel disruption, power cuts and flying debris are possible as the storm sweeps through, with severe gales of up to 75mph and heavy rain forecast for a large part of the UK.

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 country. 

PA Wire/PA Images
A car crushed by a tree in Belfast 

Meanwhile visitors to the £80.1m V&A museum in Dundee are being allowed to take refuge from the storm inside the building. The museum - which opened its doors on Saturday - had to shut early over safety fears. Those already inside were told they could shelter until around 5pm. 

The amber warning covers Northern Ireland, northern parts of England and southern Scotland until 6pm, while a further yellow warning of winds up to 60mph covers the rest of Scotland, Yorkshire and northern parts of Wales.

School pupils in Dumfries and Galloway have been banned from walking home over safety fears after some were injured by flying debris. Pupils must be collected in a vehicle or wait until after the severe weather subsides. 

A section of Princes Street in Edinburgh was closed after parts of a shop roof flew off in strong winds. Police Scotland was alerted to lead falling from the Topshop building at around 12.30pm on Wednesday.

A cordon has been put in place on the eastern part of the street.

Meanwhile, South Bridge Street has been shut between Chambers Street and the High Street after lead fell from the Tron Kirk at around 12.10pm.

There have been no injuries in either incident.

Winds of more than 90mph have been recorded near Dundee, according to bridge operators.The Tay Road Bridge said 91.7mph gales had hit the structure on Wednesday, which was forced to close to all traffic.

A cruise ship named Nautica became detached from its moorings in strong winds at the port of Greenock, Inverclyde. All guests and crew were moved ashore as Tugs attended to secure the ship until conditions are safe enough for the vessel to be returned to the passenger terminal. 

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said: “Storm Ali is already bringing some pretty heavy rain across Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland and is just starting to creep into north west England.

“In terms of wind strength, the speeds are coming up, with a gusts of just over 60mph in the west of Ireland.

“Around eight, nine and ten o’clock winds will really start ramping up and go further still.”

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
A woman struggles in the wind in Saltcoats, Scotland 

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, it will feel cooler due to the strong winds, 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.