The Latest: Storm blamed for odd odors on British flights
Oct. 16, 2017
LONDON (AP) — The latest on how the weakened remnants of Hurricane Ophelia are affecting Ireland and the U.K. (all times local):
Several flights to British airports have been diverted because of unusual odors on board thought to be associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia.
EasyJet says four of its Monday flights were affected by the unusual "atmospheric conditions," which resulted from the storm pulling in warm tropical air and dust from the Sahara. Officials say two of the planes were diverted and two requested expedited landings as a precaution.
British Airways says it had some similar reports of smells on board its planes but had operated its flights normally.
Officials at Liverpool John Lennon Airport say that the conditions are causing some flights to be redirected.
Ireland's government says schools and colleges will remain closed for a second day as a third death was attributed to the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia.
The storm, now categorized as a post-tropical cyclone, caused widespread at least two deaths, damage, disruption after it slammed into the republic on Monday.
Irish Education Minister Richard Bruton announced on Twitter that officials "decided that all schools will remain closed tomorrow."
The storm's path has it moving into parts of the UK. Northern Ireland's Education Authority has also said schools will remain closed on Tuesday.
Workers sealed off the Peace Bridge in the city of Londonderry with tape and sandbags, closing it as a precaution.
Planes have been grounded at several locations in the British Isles as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia swept into the region from the Atlantic Ocean.
Some 130 flights were cancelled at Dublin Airport, while flights were also grounded at Manchester Airport. B
Both Ryanair and Easy Jet cancelled flights at Belfast International Airport and planned to suspend more.
Authorities are warning anyone with travel plans to contact their airline.
Ireland's weather service, Met Eireann, issued a status red weather warning for all of the Irish Republic. It described the storm as the most powerful on record to have ever been this far east in the Atlantic.
A nonprofit group that provides lifesaving services around the British Isles is warning people to stay away from seas and beaches as Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia passes over the British Isles.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifesaving manager, Matt Crofts, says coastal waters are "particularly dangerous and unpredictable, with large waves and swells being a major risk."
Crofts says that as tempting as it is to watch crashing surf, the risk of massive waves that "can easily knock you off your feet" is not worth it.
He says: "The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell."
Ireland's prime minister is urging people to stay indoors as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia batter the Irish Republic.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned Monday: "It is a very dangerous storm. The last time there was a storm this severe 11 lives were lost."
Varadkar asked people to stay inside until the storm passes and to check in with neighbors and friends.
The military was put on standby as schools closed, court hearings were postponed and hospital outpatient appointments cancelled.
The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia have killed at least two people after slamming into the British Isles.
Both of the deaths were in Ireland, where tens of thousands of homes are without power and the military was put on standby Monday.
While meteorologists have downgraded Ophelia to a post-tropical cyclone, Ireland's National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather called the storm "unprecedented with serious life- threatening conditions."
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar urged people to "stay indoors until the storm passes."
Wind warnings also are in place in Northern Ireland, parts of Wales as well as western parts of England.
The weakened remnants of Hurricane Ophelia — now known as Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia — have caused at least one death in Ireland.
Authorities said the first known victim was a woman who was driving near the Irish village of Aglish on Monday when a tree fell on her car.
Gusts of up to 80 mph were reported 30 years to the day after a weather event dubbed the "Great Storm of 1987" battered southern England and killed 18 people.
Authorities in Ireland had ordered schools, courts and government buildings to remain closed before the storm's arrival.
Bridges were shut down as a precaution in both Ireland and Britain.
Some flights were canceled. Aviation officials heading to airports.
Authorities in Ireland have closed schools, courts and government buildings amid concerns about potential damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia.
Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday.
The weather service issued a "status red" warning, saying "violent and destructive" wind is forecast nationwide, and "heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will lead to flooding."
Britain's Met Office also warned of very windy weather in parts of Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England. The agency is warning of potential power cuts, and disruption to transport and mobile phone signals.