165 000 without power in storm-battered Ireland

2014-02-13 20:31
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Dublin - Over 165 000 homes were still without power across Ireland on Thursday after strong winds battered the country in what forecasters suspect is the worst storm to hit the country in 16 years.

At the peak of the storm on Wednesday, 260 000 were without electricity for a time.

"It's a mammoth task", Jerry O'Sullivan of energy supplier ESB Networks said.

A number of train, ferry and bus routes were cancelled for a time on Wednesday and Shannon and Cork airports closed temporarily due to gusts of up to 160km/h.

A stationary plane at Shannon airport, in the southwest, was blown onto its wing.

Met Eireann, the Irish national meteorological service, said Ireland has not seen a storm as widespread and destructive since Christmas 1998.

What has been described as a mini-tornado caused considerable damage in the western county of Roscommon on Wednesday.

Across the country, the winds brought down trees, power lines and the roofs of a number of buildings were blown off.

There are also several reports of cars being crushed by fallen trees.

Neighbouring Britain has suffered widespread flooding after the wettest winter in 250 years and Wales and England were also lashed by storms on Wednesday.

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