Severe weather warnings have been issued for some parts of Ireland as Storm Hannah approaches.
Status yellow warnings have been issued for 11 of the Irish Republic’s 26 counties.
A red level warning was issued for counties Kerry and Clare in the south west of the country, as north-westerly winds, associated with Storm Hannah, will reach mean speeds in excess of 80km/h – with “violent” gusts of 130km/h to 150km/h for a time this evening between 7pm-10pm.
A red weather warning means that the public should “take action to protect themselves and their properties”.
ESB Networks said on Friday night that strong winds have caused damage to the electricity network affecting approximately 10,000 homes, farms and businesses, predominantly in counties Kerry and Cork.
With the storm continuing to track across other counties, further damage to the network can be expected, the company added.
Areas most affected include the Iveragh and Dingle peninsulas and areas of West Cork including Macroom.
Ireland’s weather service Met Eireann has issued orange level wind warnings for most of Ireland’s south west, including counties Limerick, Galway, Cork, Waterford and Tipperary.
It said north-westerly winds may be at higher levels, especially in coastal areas of Clare, Kerry and West Cork, and strongest between 6pm and midnight.
The Irish National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM) severe weather team has been monitoring the storm in tandem with Met Eireann as it moves towards Ireland.
The current forecast indicates that as Storm Hannah approaches the south coast, winds will increase over southern and south-western parts of the country from late Friday afternoon and will bring severe and damaging gusts.
The storm is to track eastwards across the country overnight, and an active band of strong north-westerly winds will affect Munster, Connacht and south Leinster.
Irish police are appealing to the public to be extra cautious as the weather could present real danger to safety.
A spokesman said: “Cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians should be aware of the danger posed by high winds as they are particularly vulnerable.
“Drivers of high-sided vehicles should take all necessary precautions and pay attention to the warnings.
“We ask people living near coastal, cliff and waterway areas, particularly those with children, to be extra cautious considering the gusty winds forecast.”
Tidal conditions are such that coastal flooding is not anticipated and there are no flood warnings for any major rivers over this period.
Local authorities who have received wind warnings have set up standard emergency response and co-ordination arrangements as well as public information messaging.
Public safety messages are being relayed, especially about staying away from exposed coastal areas during the storm, and people are encouraged to check social media from official weather and emergency services accounts.
The NDFEM said appropriate response and local co-ordination arrangements are in place, and said it was not considered necessary to activate national emergency arrangements on Friday afternoon.
The AA Rescue Team has also issued advice to motorists who have to drive in the strong winds.
It said that when driving in strong winds, it is important to adapt driving behaviour to the weather conditions.
Motorists were urged to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users who could be blown off course and for fallen trees.