Several vehicles and buildings were seriously damaged after a small tornado swept through a village in Leitrim on Sunday afternoon.
Emergency services have urged people to avoid Leitrim Village after footage on social media showed debris scattered across the streets.
The tornado moved through the village at around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, causing significant damage to several vehicles and properties in addition to knocking down trees and walls in the village.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, gardaí urged people to avoid traveling to Leitrim Village.
"The village is closed. Please avoid the area and be patient while emergency services deal with the incident," gardaí said in a post on X on Sunday.
This video shared on Snapchat shows rotation which supports the reports of a Tornado in Leitrim Village today. Hoping everyone is OK after this shocking event. pic.twitter.com/iYShm8PW15— Carlow Weather (@CarlowWeather) December 10, 2023
Leitrim County Council said in a statement on Sunday evening that a major clean-up operation was underway to clear away the "significant amount of debris" strewn across the roads.
Adeline Guckian, owner of the Leitrim Inn and Blueway Lodge, said Leitrim Village looked like a "warzone" after the localized tornado hit on Sunday afternoon.
"I just ran down the street. I didn't know what to expect. And when I seen, you know, all the emergency responders there, and the state of the village I was just shocked. It was like a warzone," Guckian told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.
Guckian added that businesses and households in Leitrim Village will need "significant assistance" to help repair the damage caused during Sunday's tornado.
Irish meteorological service Met Éireann issued a Status Yellow thunderstorm warning for a number of countries surrounding Leitrim on Sunday, including Roscommon and Leitrim, after Storm Fergus made landfall.
Liz Walsh, a meteorologist with Met Éireann, told the Journal that tornadoes, while rare in Ireland, can sometimes occur during thunderstorms.
"Small tornadoes are something that can occur and are associated with thunderstorms. It’s a risk with thunderstorms and is unusual in Ireland but it does happen," Walsh told the Journal.
"Often it’s caused by the change in wind direction up in the cloud. That can cause rotation to happen and you can get these things called funnel clouds, or tornados if they hit the ground. Another feature that’s like a tornado are straight-line gusts of wind and they cause plenty of damage as well."
Met Éireann also issued a Status Orange wind warning for Clare, Galway, and Mayo between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, warning of coastal flooding in those areas.
Met Éireann additionally issued Status Yellow wind warnings for Cavan, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Sligo.