Flights cancelled and thousands without power as Storm Debi hits UK and Ireland


An amber warning for strong wind has been issued for northwest England and Northern Ireland as Storm Debi hits the UK.

The Met Office said gusts of 70-80mph are possible on the coasts and on higher ground, and 55-65mph inland.

The warning stretches from just north of Liverpool and covers most of Lancashire and areas of Cumbria from 10am until 4pm.

Parts of Co Armagh and Co Down are also under an amber wind warning until noon.

The Met Office warns buildings could be damaged and travel disrupted, as well as a potential danger to life on the coast due to large waves.

A less serious yellow warning for wind stretches across much of Wales and northwards across England, as far as Newcastle, until 6pm.

Jonathan Vautrey, from the Met Office, urged people to “take care before you travel” as the morning rush hour is expected to be affected.

A yellow alert for heavy rain is also in force in Aberdeenshire from 10am until 9pm.

Get the Sky News forecast for your area

However, it’s the Republic of Ireland that’s expected to be hit hardest by Storm Debi.

A red alert for a potential danger to life and “severe and damaging gusts” is in force in eastern areas – including around Dublin – until 9am.

The rest of the country is either under an amber or yellow warning, with some schools closing as a precaution.

“The strongest winds are expected to affect parts of the Republic of Ireland early on Monday, possibly coinciding with the morning commute, before affecting parts of north Wales and northern England into the afternoon,” said Met Office chief meteorologist Jason Kelly.

“Whilst the very strongest winds will have eased somewhat before reaching the UK, we are still expecting some significant impacts, and a wind warning has been issued.”

Storm Debi was officially named by Met Eireann on Sunday and is the earliest in the season that a storm in alphabetical sequence beginning with ‘D’ has ever hit the British Isles.

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Storm Ciaran caused disruption to southern England a few weeks ago

The storm season begins in September and, until now, the earliest ‘D’ storm named by them was 2015’s Storm Desmond, which arrived on 4 December.

Debi’s arrival comes just weeks after Storm Ciaran brought winds of over 80mph in southern England and 104mph gusts in the Channel Islands.

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