DUBLIN, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Ireland braced for damage and
flooding on Wednesday after the Irish Meteorological Service
warned of "very severe and destructive winds" as Storm Ellen
approached the country from the south-west.
A rarely used status red wind warning is in place for the
southern county of Cork from 9 p.m. until midnight on Wednesday,
with an orange wind warning in place for the other counties in
the south and west of the country.
A red warning means there is the potential for widespread
gusts of wind in excess of 130 km per hour (80 miles per hour).
The areas likely to be hit hardest are popular with
holidaymakers, whose numbers have increased this year as people
avoid foreign travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The authorities have urged people in mobile holiday homes or
on campsites in parts of southwest Cork to seek shelter or find
"People should take Storm Ellen seriously - if you're in a
campsite or caravan park, go home or prepare appropriately,"
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said on
The unseasonal storm comes as the country's businesses
struggle with the fallout from a surge in coronavirus cases,
which led the government to significantly tighten its nationwide
restrictions on activity on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)