Red warning issued as UK braces for 'Storm Eunice'

Storm Eunice is expected to make landfall on Friday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's meteorological service on Thursday (Feb 17) issued a rare "red weather" warning, with Storm Eunice packing wind gusts of 160kmh and set to cause "danger to life".

The storm is currently barrelling its way across the Atlantic, and is expected to cause "significant disruption and dangerous conditions due to extremely strong winds" when it makes landfall on Friday, the Met Office said.

Ireland's meteorological office also issued an alert for Storm Eunice, warning of "severe and damaging winds" and the possibility of coastal flooding.

Another storm, Dudley, caused transport disruption when it hit Britain on Wednesday, although damage was not widespread.

The government announced on Thursday that it was holding a meeting of its emergency "COBR" (Cabinet Office Briefing Room) committee to discuss the response to the two storms.

The Met Office warned that roofs could be blown off, trees uprooted and power lines brought down when Eunice arrives, with south-west England expected to bear the brunt.

Roads, bridges and railway lines are also likely to be closed, causing delays and cancellations to bus, train and ferry services as well as flights.

The red warning, which is issued when dangerous weather is expected, is in place for parts of Cornwall, on England's south-west coast, and south Wales.

Some rail passengers have already been urged by train operators not to travel on Friday.

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