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  1. ITV Report

Two dead including woman in caravan blown off cliff during Storm Ali

  • Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

Two people have been killed, including a woman whose caravan was blown off a cliff in the west of Ireland, during Storm Ali.

The woman who died in the Irish caravan accident has been named locally as Elvira Ferraii from Switzerland, she was found on a beach at Claddaghduff in County Galway on Wednesday morning.

Irish broadcaster RTE said the victim was sleeping at the time when strong winds lifted the caravan from the ground. It said the dwelling was blown onto a stretch of coastline.

A man in his twenties in Northern Ireland died when he was struck by a falling tree in Co Armagh. The incident left another man in his forties injured.

Scotland was battered by winds of more than 100mph as Storm Ali swept in and left about 70,000 homes without power, with major disruption to the travel network.

Rail, roads and ferry services have all been affected by the severe weather, while the the Forth Road Bridge, Clackmannanshire Bridge and Queensferry Crossing were all operating with restrictions.

A fallen tree blocks a lady's front door in Belfast. Credit: PA

The male victim had reportedly been working at Slieve Gullion Park when he was struck by a tree.

Ambulance crews were called to the scene at around 12.45pm.

A PSNI statement read: "Police attended the sudden death of a man, aged in his 20s, in the Slieve Gullion Park, Drumintee Road area of Newry this afternoon".

It continued: "Another man aged in his 40’s was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries. The road remains closed at this time following the incident."

A tree which has fallen onto a car in Belfast. Credit: PA

Irish President Michael D Higgins said he was "deeply saddened" by the woman's death in Galway, adding: "As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family."

A Garda statement said: "Gardai at Clifden Co Galway are investigating an incident which occurred at Claddaghduff, Co Galway this morning.

"At approximately 7.45am a report was received that a caravan had blown off the cliff at the above location.

"A search was carried out at the scene on the beach and after a short time the body of a female in her 50s was recovered.

"Her body is expected to be removed to University College Galway for a post-mortem examination. The local coroner has been notified."

  • ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith braves Ali in Ayrshire

A freight train hit tree branches and left the track near Culloden in the Highlands and a man had to be rescued after becoming trapped under a digger in a river in the village of Rogart in the Highlands.

In Fife, footballers from the University of Dundee had a lucky escape after a tree fell on their coach on the way to a game in St Andrews.

University of Dundee footballers inspect their damaged vehicle.

At the port of Greenock in Inverclyde an Oceania Cruises vessel was detached from its moorings in strong winds.

All guests and crew onboard are safe and there were no injuries, the company said.

A statement from Oceania Cruises said: "This afternoon, while alongside at the port of Greenock, Scotland, Nautica encountered extremely strong winds which resulted in the parting of mooring lines and the vessel being detached from the dock.

"All guests and crew onboard are safe and there were no injuries.

"Tugs have been called in to assist and the vessel is currently being held off of her berth. 478 guests and 26 crew are ashore and are being looked after by the shore operations teams until conditions are safe enough for the vessel to be returned to the passenger terminal."

  • Disruption hits powers line, roads and rail network

Travel disruption, power cuts and flying debris have been reported as the storm sweeps through, with severe gales and heavy rain forecast for a large part of the UK.

Falling trees have posed a danger, with one person suffering minor injuries in County Offaly when a tree fell on the car they were in.

A number of roads were also closed due to the conditions and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) warned drivers to "exercise extreme caution".

People walk along Tynemouth Beach on the North East Coast. Credit: PA

Gale-force winds have left many homes, farms and businesses without power, according to the Electricity Supply Board (ESB).

NIE Networks said around 65,000 homes were without power across Northern Ireland by Wednesday lunchtime.

ESB, which oversees the power supply, said: "The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds.

"ESB Networks has mobilised repair crews who are currently working in very difficult conditions to restore power as quickly as possible to affected customers, once it is safe to do so."

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Traffic Scotland said the Forth Road Bridge is closed to all vehicles and pedestrians.

ScotRail said the storm was causing disruption to services, tweeting: "We've got a tree blocking tracks at Dumbarton Central which has damaged overhead wires, and also reports of overhead wire damage at Partick. We'll provide an update as soon as we can."

Dublin Airport said the storm would have an impact on its schedule and warned of cancellations.

  • Warnings in place until Wednesday night

As Ali rolled in on Wednesday morning the Met Office updated its amber weather warning of wind, saying there is now a high likelihood of impacts across a swathe of the UK.

Forecasters have warned of gusts of 65-75mph inland across Northern Ireland, parts of Scotland, north-east England and north-west England.

A less severe yellow warning for wind is in place until Wednesday night.

Forecasters in Ireland issued a Status Orange wind warning for more than half the country due to the storm.

The worst of Ali's weather is forecast to be in the north, although areas outside the official weather warnings are unlikely to escape wet and windy conditions.

Ali is the first named storm of the season on the list for 2018/19 announced by the Met Office and Met Eireann, which has run the Name Our Storms scheme for four years.

The season’s names have been compiled from a list of submissions by the public, choosing some of the most popular names and also selecting those which reflect the nations, culture and diversity of the UK and Ireland.

The practice is aimed at raising awareness of severe weather before it hits, with polling finding almost 80% of people think naming storms is useful in making them realise severe weather may have a greater impact than normal.

Strong winds blow sand across the seafront at Troon Beach in Ayrshire. Credit: PA
An uprooted tree rests on a house.
Strong winds at the sea front on Troon Beach in Ayrshire. Credit: PA