Woman who died after caravan blown off cliff during Storm Ali named locally
A woman who died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff during Storm Ali has been named locally as Elvira Ferraii.
The Swiss holidaymaker was staying at the Clifden ecoBeach Camping and Caravan Park in Co Galway in Ireland’s west when a severe gust took her caravan over the side and down onto a beach.
Emergency services were called before 8am on Wednesday morning but the victim, aged in her 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene after a brief search. She was reported to have been staying at the remote beauty spot for several weeks.
Ireland was battered by some of the worst winds recorded at this time of year, the conditions wreaking havoc on power supplies and roads – and costing two lives.
In Northern Ireland, a man working on behalf of public utility Northern Ireland Water at a water pumping station died when a tree fell on him at a popular forest park in Co Armagh.
White overall-clad forensics experts combed the scene and the fire service oversaw work on the hefty tree, which had fallen across the main entrance road into Slieve Gullion park, a forested hill close to the border with the Republic in South Armagh.
Irish President Michael D Higgins was among those who expressed condolences following the Republic’s tragedy.
He said: “I would also take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those, in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens, and who are working to maintain essential services around the country.”
Ireland’s Minister for Employment Regina Doherty also offered her condolences to the family of the dead woman.
Footage of the scene shows the caravan broken up into several pieces as the tide threatens to wash it out to sea.
More than 250,000 homes and businesses across the island of Ireland were at one stage without power as a result of Storm Ali, with emergency workers battling difficult conditions as wind speeds peaked during the afternoon.
Ireland’s electricity network, ESB Networks, said thousands of homes, businesses and farms have been left without power – with the most impacted in Cavan, Sligo, Donegal, Castlebar and Galway.
In Northern Ireland, thousands of homes and businesses were without power as gusts of 70mph caused significant damage.
The storm also led to the cancellation of the second day of a major agricultural show in Ireland.
Irish forecaster Met Eireann said the strongest gusts in the hour leading up to 10am reached speeds of 120km/h (74.5mph) at Mace Head in County Galway, 98km/h (60.9mph) at Dublin Airport and 107km/h (66.5mph) at Shannon.
The Met Office said gusts of 91mph hit Killowen in County Down.
Forecasters in Ireland issued a Status Orange wind warning for more than half the country due to the storm.