xi's moments
Home | Europe

Disruptive storms hit UK, Ireland

By Julian Shea in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-08 01:43

People look at strong waves caused by Storm Kathleen in Porthleven, Britain April 6, 2024 this screen grab obtained from social media video. [Photo/Agencies]

Power supplies and public transport were heavily disrupted across the British Isles over the weekend after Storm Kathleen battered Great Britain and the island of Ireland.

Thousands of air passengers were delayed as flights, mainly domestic or short-haul, from airports including London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Belfast City, were cancelled or delayed because of high winds, with speeds of more than 112 km/h recorded in eastern England, which also experienced the highest temperatures recorded so far this year.

On the top of the Cairngorms mountain range in the Scottish Highlands, wind speeds of 162 km/h were measured.

The Severn Bridge crossing between England and Wales was closed, ferry and rail services were badly affected, and aviation website Big Jet TV posted footage of planes struggling to land smoothly at Heathrow Airport because of the challenging conditions.

In Ireland, power supplier ESB Networks said around 34,000 homes, farms, and businesses had their energy supplies impacted because of the extreme conditions, with emergency response crews being deployed "where safe to do so", according to a company service update.

It was estimated that around 12,000 customers were left without power altogether, with falling trees adding to supply problems and making service restoration more difficult.

In Northern Ireland, the Titanic Belfast museum, the city's most popular tourist attraction, was temporarily shut after the roof was damaged by the storm, the 11th named storm in the last eight months, which is a status given to weather events that are expected to cause major damage or disruption because it makes it easier for communication purposes to keep the public informed of their progress.

The museum said it had "taken the precautionary measure to close its building to the public for the remainder of (Saturday) and (Sunday)".

Vincent Fitzsimons, flood duty manager at the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, said the impact of the storm may be felt "over the next few days".

"On top of already high tides, Kathleen will bring a storm surge and large waves," he said. "This combination is particularly dangerous, especially around high tides. There is real danger to life from wave overtopping, particularly around causeways, coastal roads, and paths.

"While the risk is greatest around high tide times, our message is clear: take extra care if you are near the coast at any point and stay well clear of waves and water. Be careful when travelling around exposed coastal areas and don't walk or drive through flood water as there may be hidden hazards."

Rod Dennis, a spokesperson for motorists' roadside recovery service the RAC, said the "intense period of stormy weather is going to prove extremely challenging for anyone driving on the western side of the United Kingdom".

"We strongly urge drivers to avoid exposed coasts and higher routes where the impact of the very strong winds is most likely to be felt," Dennis added.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349