Storm Darwin and its hurricane-force 100 mph winds swept through Ireland on Wednesday, leaving close to 215,000 homes without power, felling thousands of trees, and ripping the roofs off buildings.
Met Éireann, Ireland’s national weather service, issued red alerts for counties Cork and Kerry, which were among the first to be hit as Darwin reached Ireland’s shores, and for much of Leinster. Orange alerts were issued for counties Clare, Galway, Limerick, Mayo and Waterford.
Traffic stalled across the country due to a number of overturned vehicles. Shannon and Cork airports were closed for much of the day, and many commuters were left stranded as rail service between Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Kerry was suspended.
In what the Electricity Supply Board described as Ireland’s worst power outage since 1998, 215,000 homes were left without power – 170,000 in the southern counties.
By Wednesday night, the alert code for counties in Munster, Leinster and Connacht had been downgraded to yellow, while Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan remained at an orange alert.
No casualties or serious injuries have been reported.
Four fishermen who were stranded by Clifden Bay were saved by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Irish Coast Guard in a dramatic rescue.
The Tralee Bay Wetlands Center in Co. Kerry captured footage of the 100 mph winds gusting across the water. (Click photo to play video.)
Part of the roof of the Brandon Hotel, also in Tralee, was blown off.
In Limerick, a bystander captured footage as the Limerick Boat Club lost its roof.
A small tornado was reported in Roscommon.
Fallen trees scattered rural roads and city streets, resulting in millions of euros worth of damage.
Ireland has been severely battered recently by a number of harsh weather systems resulting in floods. Another storm is forecast for Friday.