Woman killed in tree fall as storm Ophelia hits Ireland and UK

A ship at anchor off of Carrigaholt on the West Coast of Ireland as Hurricane Ophelia hits the UK and Ireland with gusts of up to 80mph
A ship at anchor off of Carrigaholt on the West Coast of Ireland as Hurricane Ophelia hits the UK and Ireland with gusts of up to 80mph

A woman has died after a tree fell on her car as hurricane-force winds from Storm Ophelia batter Ireland and the UK.

The motorist, in her 70s, was driving close to the village of Aglish in Waterford, Ireland, when she was killed.

Meanwhile, scores of homes were without power, schools closed early, trees fell onto roads and bridges were shut on the UK mainland.

Remnants of the hurricane battered Britain's west coast on Monday afternoon, with gusts of up to 80mph, exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 killed 18 people.

Around 200 properties in Wales suffered power cuts, a number of schools closed early and the Cleddau Bridge was shut to high-sided vehicles, Pembrokeshire County Council said.

Flood warnings are also in place along the Pembrokeshire coast, parts of west Scotland, north-west England and Cornwall.

Planes were grounded at Manchester Airport, with 20 flights cancelled and passengers warned to check ahead.

Ireland was hit by the worst of the weather, with schools closed and around 130 flights cancelled at Dublin airport.

Schools and colleges were closed in Northern Ireland, which is covered with an amber weather warning, meaning there is a "potential risk to life and property", issued when forecasters believe people need to be prepared to change their plans and protect themselves from the impacts of severe weather.

The storm is expected to move across Wales, northern England and Scotland into Tuesday.

High winds are expected across the entire region, while a yellow warning is in place for much of Wales, Scotland, north east England, north-west England, south-west England and the West Midlands.

Parts of Scotland and Wales have also been upgraded to amber.

Forecasters are warning of flying debris, such as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts with beach material being thrown on to coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.

"It will be gradually easing up into Scotland overnight and into Tuesday morning, it's weakening as it goes," Met weatherman Grahame Madge said.

"Parts of England, areas like the North West, are covered by a warning.

"The impacts will be felt in northern England into Tuesday.

"Winds will be 50-60mph, possibly gusting to 70mph, even in the yellow warning areas."

In Ireland, Met Eireann has issued a "status red" weather alert for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork and Kerry, warning of severe winds and stormy conditions.

Met Office forecaster Luke Miall said that while storms with these wind speeds tend to happen at this time of year, the one on its way is "quite a substantial system", adding that he would describe it as "pretty exceptional".

Loganair in Scotland is offering free flight changes on routes that could be hit by the severe weather conditions.

The airline said at the moment it still intends operating a normal full schedule on Monday and Tuesday.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has three battalions, 1,200 personnel in total, permanently on standby to assist with contingencies.

But an MoD spokesman said it has not yet received requests from any local authority for assistance.

Meanwhile, bookmaker Coral cut the odds on this month being the wettest October on record in the UK into evens (from 3/1) following a flurry of bets on Sunday morning.

The firm is offering 6/4 that the wind speed reaches 100mph in mainland UK next week, and 2/1 for there to be snowfall in October.