Shatter: 210,000 tonnes of salt ready for icy Irish roads
There will be 210,000 tonnes of salt available by mid-December to treat Irish roads in the event of icy weather this winter - almost double the amount used in the severe winter of 2010. according to Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the 'Be Winter Ready' information campaign today.
"Severe weather events in Ireland are not commonplace," he said. "Met Eireann have told us that severe winters occur roughly once every ten years but it is not possible to determine with any certainty what the long term winter weather will be".
The Justice Minister and Environment Minister Phil Hogan met with about 40 members of the National Emergency Co-ordination Task Force this morning, including members from the HSE, the National Roads Authority, the Gardai and Met Eireann to put plans in place in the event of particularly inclement conditions.
But there was good news from the weather office. "We have no reason to believe that it will be particularly severe," said Gerry Fleming of Met Eireann.
Miniser Shatter also offered his condolences to those living in the Philippines after over 10,000 people are feared dead in Typhoon Haiyan. "I want to welcome the decision made by the Tanaiste that there be €1m aid provided to assist in the Philippines," he said. "Our thoughts are with family members here who are finding it difficult to obtain information as to the wherabouts of their own family members in the Philippines and as to their safety. We will do what we can to be of assistance".
Advice for the public on the government's Winter Ready campaign is available on the website www.winterready.ie and the Office of emergency Planning has set up a Twitter account, @emergencyIE and will be tweeting during the winter months.