‘Danger to life’ warning issued across Ireland as Storm Debi approaches

People have been warned to avoid coastal areas and road users should be aware of the 'very hazardous and dangerous conditions'.

‘Danger to life’ warning issued across Ireland as Storm Debi approaches
People row a boat through water as it flows through streets after heavy rain caused extensive flooding, ahead of the arrival of Storm Ciaran, in the city centre of Newry, Northern Ireland, October 31, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
People rowed a boat through floodwater in Newry amid Storm Ciarán (Picture: REUTERS)

Red weather warnings for wind have been issued in five counties across Ireland as Storm Debi is set to cause chaos.

The fourth named storm of 2023 is set to hit tomorrow morning, with ‘danger to life’ weather warnings issued by Ireland’s meteorological agency.

The warnings cover Clare, east Galway, south Roscommon, Offaly and Westmeath as Debi is set to bring strong winds and heavy rain.

Ireland’s National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) has advised schools in 19 counties to remain closed until 10am on Monday due to the storm.

The counties affected are Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow, Cavan, Monaghan, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, and Roscommon.

The red warning for Clare and parts of Galway and Roscommon is in place between 3am and 5am.

A separate red warning for Offaly and Westmeath follows between 5am and 7am.

The head forecaster at Irish meteorological agency Met Eireann has said Storm Debi is a ‘severe weather event’ which will make its first impact in the south west of the country.

People stand and look on as water flows through the streets after heavy rain caused extensive flooding, ahead of the arrival of Storm Ciaran, in the city centre of Newry, Northern Ireland, October 31, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were hit hard by Storm Ciarán (Picture: REUTERS)
A man walks through a strong current as water flows through the streets after heavy rain caused extensive flooding, ahead of the arrival of Storm Ciaran, in the city centre of Newry, Northern Ireland, October 31, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
There was extensive flooding (Picture: REUTERS)

Eoin Sherlock said the agency couldn’t rule out further red weather warnings, and said the storm system is currently ‘very chaotic’ and difficult to predict’.

He said: ‘We can expect some severe mean winds from 3am to 5am [on Monday] and also gusts.

‘Gusts are probably going to be the main issue for Storm Debi later this evening and over tonight.’

He said those living in the areas affected by a red wind warning can expect winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour (80 miles per hour), adding: ‘We can expect some disruption with travel, some infrastructural issues such as power cables coming down.’

Mr Sherlock said it will affect people in commuter counties as they get ready to go to work.

It comes after parts of the island were devastated by floods during intense spells of rain from storms Babet and Ciarán.

While a yellow warning applies to every county in the country, the majority of the population are also living in areas where an orange warning applies due to the risk of ‘severe and damaging gusts’ from Sunday night.

People have been warned to avoid coastal areas and road users should be aware of the ‘very hazardous and dangerous conditions’.

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