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Britain braces for Babet: Storm unleashes chaos in Ireland as Met Office 'danger to life' warning comes into force in UK
19 October 2023, 10:42
Britain is bracing for Storm Babet, which caused chaos in Cork, Ireland, on Wednesday, leaving homes, businesses and cars destroyed.
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A 'danger to life' warning has been in place in Scotland since 10am, where in the east of the country, a rare red warning will come to force at 6pm on Thursday.
Babet, the second named storm of the season, wreaked havoc in Ireland yesterday, with supermarkets and businesses destroyed by heavy flooding.
There was also heavy flooding at Midleton Hospital in Cork, with entire patient rooms and the car park affected.
Our poor elderly in Midleton hospital. How has it taken so long for the defence forces to be called out?— Paul O'Keeffe (@paulieok) October 18, 2023
Homes and businesses destroyed pic.twitter.com/mB4BNnGkgs
Footage posted online shows the red car being swept away by a strong current of floodwater, with rescue officers unable to stop it in its tracks.
Kayaks were used by rescue officials as stranded families watched on in despair, with a number of cars washed away by the floodwater in the Cork area.
Concerned residents spoke of fleeing their homes and the area in the wake of the brutal storm, with several businesses and homes affected.
A yellow weather warning has been in place covering most of Scotland from 6am today, with an additional amber warning for wind covering the east of the country.
Devastated for all the businesses and people in Midleton today. I managed to get one of the last buses out of town before it became impassible. Stay safe tonight everyone. #CorkFloods #StormBabet pic.twitter.com/lcBpXQikyq— Aoife McCabe (@aoiferyan89) October 18, 2023
A rare red weather warning will come into force from 6pm on Thursday, which means "exceptional rainfall is expected to cause severe flooding and disruption", according to the Met Office.
It is the first red warning for rain issued in the UK since Storm Dennis in February 2020.
What to expect from a red weather warning
According to the Met Office, the following is likely during a red weather warning:
- Danger to life from floodwater
- Extensive flooding to homes and businesses
- Collapsed or damaged buildings/structures
- Road closures and public transport delays/cancellations
- Dangerous driving conditions
- Loss of power and other essential services, including as gas, water, mobile phone service
- Communities completely cut off, perhaps for several days
Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: "We're going to see prolonged heavy rain, where we could see 200 to 250 millimetres of rain falling within a day which is well over a month's worth of rainfall for eastern parts of Scotland.
"We're likely to see flooding, power disruption, travel disruption, there is a risk to life as well.
"There's also an amber wind warning out for eastern parts of Scotland, where we could see gusts of 60 to 70 miles an hour, just adding to the extremely dangerous weather coming for parts of Scotland."