Environment

Storm Isha leaves thousands without electricity, disrupts transportation across UK

London, Jan 22 (EFE).- Storm Isha, which has unleashed strong winds and heavy rains across the United Kingdom since Sunday, has left thousands without electricity and disrupted transportation across the country, the authorities said Monday.

The country’s Meteorological Office issued a ‘yellow’ warning on Monday for “strong winds” likely to cause travel and utility disruptions across the UK until Wednesday morning.

The weather conditions could result in damage to buildings, “injuries and danger to life from flying debris,” and power outages with the potential to affect other services, including mobile phone coverage.

Irish energy company ESB Networks announced that over 170,000 properties were without electricity in Ireland on Monday, while nearly 8,000 homes suffered power outages in the North West, according to network operator, Electricity North West.

In Northern Ireland, electricity networks had to hire hundreds of additional employees after around 45,000 customers reported power outages.

Isha, which caused strong winds reaching up to 145 kilometers per hour (90 miles per hour), has led to the closure of several roads in the country.

Network Rail, the manager of the country’s main railway network, imposed speed restrictions on most rail routes for safety reasons, fearing that the storm could blow trees and other large objects onto the tracks.

“Storm Isha continues to affect journeys in parts of England, Scotland and Wales today,” it said in a brief statement.

Network Rail added that cleanup operations, including the removal of trees and debris, were underway, with ‘ghost trains’ operating to clear the lines before resuming passenger trains.

The ScotRail network said it was working to remove fallen trees and repair cable networks in at least 20 locations.

“All routes in Scotland remain closed to passenger and freight services until our engineers have inspected tracks for fallen trees and infrastructure damage,” it added.

In England, the storm caused disruptions to air traffic, with temporary restrictions leading to flight cancellations and diversions.

“Due to adverse weather conditions across the UK, temporary air traffic restrictions are in place. Restrictions of this sort are only ever applied to maintain safety,” the National Air Traffic Service said in a statement.

The Met Office said that Storm Isha, which has affected nearly “everyone” in the UK, is expected to gradually ease throughout the day. However, winds and showers will persist for the rest of the day.

“After a top gust of 99mph overnight, Storm Isha is now moving away. However, it remains windy with a yellow warning out for all until midday,” the Met office said in an update. EFE

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