Houses collapse and power cut off amid strong NI winds

Building collapse, Shankill
Building collapse, Shankill
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The wind has been blamed for knocking down these houses in west Belfast, as gusts battered parts of the Province throughout Saturday.

The TUV said that the collapse affected a number of derelict houses in the Lawnbrook area of west Belfast (pictured), which the BBC attributed to stormy weather.

There were reports of cancelled sailings, and NI Electricity estimated that a few hundred homes had lost electricity.

It said that these powercuts will have largely affected sections of the north coast.

However, a spokeswoman added that these would be “very small groups” rather than in one cluster, and said that the wind had not been strong enough to cause large-scale downing of powerlines.

However, there was a road closure in the Nutt’s Corner area when a fallen tree damaged power cables.

Meanwhile in Portrush, Main Street was closed due to loose tiles on a building.

In a statement, the TUV said: “Last night there were number of derelict houses collapsed in Lawnbrook Avenue.

“These houses have been empty for years and despite community lobbing there were no plans to remove them. They were both an eye sore and a danger to the community.

“This incident emphasizes the need for redevelopment in this area. While some homes are being knocked down with no plans of rebuilding them other building lie for years until they fall down themselves.”

Last year a number of derelict homes in the Shankill were the scene of a fire, with acrid smoke drifting across the area.