Hurricane Ophelia lashed Ireland with 118mph winds and killed 3 people

A detached piece of roof is hurled through the air by strong winds in Cork, Ireland, by storm Ophelia.

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A detached piece of roof is hurled through the air by strong winds in Cork, Ireland, by storm Ophelia.
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Twitter/EoinBearla

Hurricane Ophelia killed three people in Ireland, pounding the country with the most extreme weather it has experienced for years.

The storm – which was officially a post-tropical cyclone when it landed – knocked down two trees on to drivers, who were killed inside their cars.

A third man, who was trying to clear a fallen tree from a road, inadvertently killed himself with his chainsaw. Police confirmed all three deaths.

Sea defences were breached, causing some flooding, while powerful winds ripped the roofs from buildings and knocked down countless trees. 360,000 households were left without power.

The first victim was a woman who was killed by a falling tree in County Waterford. She was later named in media reports as Clare O’Neill, who was in her 50s.

The second was the man with a chainsaw, who died in County Tipperary. The third was a male driver killed in Ranvensdale, County Louth.

A toppled tree in Dublin.

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A toppled tree in Dublin.
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Twitter/corkcityrecreation‏

Several fallen trees in Cork.

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Several fallen trees in Cork.
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Twitter/Dublin Fire Brigade

Powerful winds were widely recorded, with gusts measured at almost 120mph.

Coastal defences in Galway, on the west coast, were breached and sea water streamed through the streets:

Coastal defences completelybreached at Salthill, Galway. The Atlantic now extends to thepromenade. #Ophelia pic.twitter.com/qF9B47Ty3i

#Opheliapic.twitter.com/qF9B47Ty3iOctober 16, 2017

Video on social media also showed roofs being ripped off buildings.

This one shows the nearby town of Passage West:

Roof gone from stand inpassage west gaa club. #ophelia pic.twitter.com/mZm4uQ8rAo

#opheliapic.twitter.com/mZm4uQ8rAoOctober 16, 2017

While this shows a school in the city of Cork:

Dramatic footage of the roofbeing blown off #Douglas Community School’s gym on southside of #Cork city #Ophelia #iestaff pic.twitter.com/0dSw5w1rTj

#Douglas#Cork#Ophelia#iestaffpic.twitter.com/0dSw5w1rTjOctober 16, 2017

Cork City’s home football ground, Turners Cross, was also seriously damaged:

Irish forecasters warned people in at-risk areas to stay inside their homes to avoid the effects of the storm. Police and the coast guard made repeated pleas for people to stay away from the coast because of rough seas, which they said some were ignoring.

Hospitals across the country cancelled thousands of non-essential procedures because of the bad weather. All schools in Ireland were closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Kerry Airport, which was near the path of the storm, cancelled all flights on Monday and closed completely. Cork Airport, which was slightly further from Ophelia, remained open but still cancelled dozens of flights.

Windspeed measurements showed extreme highs of 118mph (191kmph) at Fastnet Rock, a small island with a lighthouse four miles from the Irish mainland. On the mainland at Roches Point, County Cork, the highest wind speed was measured at 97 mph (156kmph).

The storm also made itself felt in the British territory of Northern Ireland. The symbolic Peace Bridge near the border between Ireland and the UK was closed due to the bad weather.

This graphic from the US National Hurricane Center showed the likely track of the storm, which would take it across the sea to parts of Scotland:

A map, generated early Monday morning European time, shows the expected track of Ophelia over Ireland and the UK.

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A map, generated early Monday morning European time, shows the expected track of Ophelia over Ireland and the UK.
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US National Hurricane Center

In most of England the weather was calm, but a secondary effect of the storm caused the upper atmosphere to fill with dust, casting an odd, reddish glow over much of the country.