Dramatic scenes unfolded across Ireland from north to south on Wednesday as a ‘weather bomb’ winter storm brought roaring winds and record-breaking waves.
Waves flood a children's play park in Portstewart in northern Ireland December 10, 2014. Up to 17,000 residents i... pic.twitter.com/uN5jf5aBHt— Hombre GQ (@HombreGQ) December 10, 2014
Ireland’s weather service Met Eireann issued an orange alert, with especially strong winds in Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitirm and Sligo. Hundreds of people were left without electricity as a result.
At the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, visitors and staff were evacuated as the visitor center went into “Red Protocol” in advance of the winds that reached nearly 80 miles per hour.
The site went into lockdown due to the unsafe conditions, with all present evacuated from the area and an advisory issued warning people not to attempt to access the 700-foot cliffs on the Atlantic coast of County Clare.
“Winds were extremely dangerous with some airborne rock debris falling near the viewing platforms. There were small stones and even some fist-size debris swept up by the winds. There has been some damage to barriers but we won’t be able to assess that until the storm passes,” the director of the visitor center, Katherine Webster, told the Irish Independent.
Bunagee pier today Culdaff, Inishowen peninsula, Donegal pic.twitter.com/KGDBF8AWA5— Discover Inishowen (@DiscovInishowen) December 10, 2014
In Donegal, a buoy off the coast measured a record-breaking significant wave height (the average height of the highest third of the waves over a period) of 51.5 feet, breaking the previous record set on January 26 of this year. Yesterday the buoy also recorded an individual wave of 70.5 feet.
Waves crash along the rocky coast of Glencolmcille in southwest Co. Donegal, Ireland. Via Glen Folk Village on FB. pic.twitter.com/tAgZGQY7yv— Tim Ballisty (@IrishEagle) December 10, 2014