Katia makes her presence felt as winds batter Ireland
Published 12/09/2011 | 05:00
IRELAND has battened down the hatches as Hurricane Katia begins to wreak widespread havoc with storm-force winds and giant waves.
Western counties are particularly badly hit this morning, with winds of 111kmph an hour recorded at Belmullet in Co Mayo.
The extremely wet and windy conditions have led to fallen trees and flooding, making travel conditions difficult across the country.
The AA has described driving conditions on the N18 outside Limerick as "very dangerous".
In Galway, gardai have said conditions around Seapoint are "treacherous"
and are advising people to avoid the area.
Conditions at the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare are said to be extremely hazardous with very strong winds. Visitors have been advised to cancel any planned trips.
Irish Ferries has cancelled its Swift ferry sailings between Dublin and Holyhead, with passengers instead travelling on the heavier Ulysses ship.
Fastnet cancelled sailings between Cork and Swansea.
Forecasters at Met Eireann issued an extreme weather warning amid predictions of storm gusts of up to 130kmph battering the west and north west coast, with peak winds of 115kmph sweeping across the rest of the country.
The tail end of Hurricane Katia -- which was classified a category four hurricane as it hit the US coastline -- will continue its path up from the Caribbean and cross Ireland, before moving up towards the northern tip of Scotland.
The Irish Coast Guard last night warned people to avoid boating, swimming at sea, wave-watching or rock-climbing near the coast or in exposed areas amid fears of fatalities.