'Don't be stupid': Weather watchers told to avoid coasts as Storm Eunice hits

18 February 2022, 09:52 | Updated: 18 February 2022, 11:32

Storm Eunice and rough seas bring huge crashing waves along Aberystwyth promenade.
Storm Eunice and rough seas bring huge crashing waves along Aberystwyth promenade. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Weather watchers and amateur photographers have been told to not be "stupid" and visit the coast to get dramatic photos as Storm Eunice batters the UK.

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Roy Stokes from the Environment Agency said it was "probably the most stupid thing you can do" to travel to the most exposed areas, with gusts of up to 100mph expected on the coastline.

It came as the Met Office took the highly unusual step of issuing two red weather warnings for much of the south coast of England and Wales, including the whole of London.

The warnings are in place for much of Friday, with "danger to life" possible.

Large waves are expected and the prospect of beach material and debris being blown across the seafront, with amateur photographers urged to stay away.

Follow live: Storm Eunice: Britain grinds to a halt as gales strike and rare second red alert issued

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"The worst possible thing you could do is go anywhere near these (coastal areas)," Mr Stokes told broadcasters on Friday.

"I know people like to go and get photos and pictures, it's quite a dramatic scene, but they're far safer to watch it on the screen.

"It's probably the most stupid thing you can do," he told the BBC.

He urged people to listen to advice "and act accordingly".

And the Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: "Please stay well back from breaking waves as you could easily end up in the sea."

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Winds of up to 100mph are being predicted and the rare red alert has been put in place for most of the east and southeast of England, including the whole of London.

It joins a red weather warning that was already in place for Wales and southwest England.

Boris Johnson has said the army is on standby to assist and people are being told to stay home.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged all Londoners to stay at home and not travel unless it is absolutely essential.

Mr Khan said: “The Met Office has issued a rare ‘Red Weather Warning’ for London today due to the expected impact of Storm Eunice.

“This Red Warning indicates a risk to life as extremely strong winds are now expected in the capital, providing the potential for flying debris and damage to buildings.

“I urge all Londoners to stay at home, do not take risks and do not travel unless it is absolutely essential.

“City Hall is in close contact with key agencies across the capital and our city is as prepared as possible for any potential impacts of Storm Eunice.

“However, it is vital that Londoners listen to the official advice today and stay at home until the storm has passed.”

Follow the latest updates on Storm Eunice on our live blog.