Minister Warns Storm Eunice Is 'Risk To Life And Limb' As People Urged To Stay At Home
A minister has warned that Storm Eunice is "a risk to life and limb" as the UK braces itself today for what experts have said could be record-breaking wind speeds.
Security minister Damian Hinds on Friday morning urged people to "take precautions and try to keep everyone safe" after the most severe "red" weather warning was issued in several parts the country.
"A red warning is what it says it is. It is a warning of danger. There is a risk to life and limb," Hinds told Sky News.
It is feared that the storm could damage homes, cause power cuts, and result in flying debris posing a risk to people's safety.
People have also been encouraged to stay at home and expect delays and cancellations if they do attempt to use public transport on Friday.
Hinds sought to reassure people that the country was prepared to combat the storm having recently experienced Storm Arwen, which left over a million homes without power late last year, and that the army was ready to intervene if necessary.
"Over the longer term a lot of learning has been done from Storm Arwen, particularly on dealing with welfare issues, staying in touch with people, staying in touch with customers for the [power] networks," he said.
"But in the immediate term there are troops on high readiness standby, the Environment Agency on the ground, the networks themselves have to be very much active, and they are."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a Cobra meeting today in response to the storm following an emergency meeting on Thursday. Red weather warnings have been issued to large parts of southern England and south Wales, with London mayor Sadiq Khan this morning urging people in the capital to stay at home.
While the most severe warnings are in the south, the whole country has been told to expect to be impacted by Eunice.
Annie Shuttleworth, forecaster at the Met Office, said: "The whole of the country will be affected by the extremely strong and damaging winds, which will cause significant disruption.
"People will see significant delays to travel and power cuts, so you should avoid travelling if you can and stay at home when winds reach the highest speeds".
She added: "In areas covered by the red warning, especially coastal regions, there is likely to be overtopping of the sea, flooding to roads and homes, trees being overturned, tiles coming off buildings and power lines being toppled over."
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