Latest: Up to 10,000 premises without power as Storm Hannah hits Cork and Kerry

High waves spray over the wall in Bantry Bay during Storm Hannah. Pic: Jonathan Tyner

Update: ESB Networks have confirmed that around 10,000 homes, farms and businesses have no power due to Storm Hannah.

They said that the damage is mainly because of falling trees on overhead lines in counties Kerry and Cork as a result of the high winds, some of which have been as high as 130km/h.

Crews have been mobilised to affected areas to make the electricity network safe, restore power as quickly as possible.

Areas most affected include the Iveragh and Dingle peninsulas and areas of West Cork including Macroom.

Real-time information on power outages can be seen here.

Earlier: Up to 2,500 houses lose power as Storm Hannah hits Kerry

Kerry County Council have said that around 2,500 ESB customers are currently without power as the county is hit by Storm Hannah.

The council also said a number of trees have fallen on regional roads, particularly in the south of the county, while the N22 between Killarney and Cork and the N72 between Killarney and Killorglin have been affected.

A spokesperson for Kerry County Council said crews will be deployed when the winds ease for safety reasons.

Some flights in Cork, Shannon and Kerry have been cancelled as a result of the storm which is bringing gusts of up to 150km/h.

Aer Lingus flight EI 386 from Shannon to London's Heathrow Airport has been cancelled - as has the returning flight.

Passengers are being urged to contact their airline directly to check their flight status.

Cork Airport is also advising passengers to contact their airline directly to get up-to-date information.

A big tent that was to be used for a festival in Fenit, Co. Kerry, is blown down as storm Hannah arrives over the county. Pic: Domnick Walsh

Road users are being urged to avoid journeys as some of the trees will not be cleared until later tonight or tomorrow morning.

There have also been cancellations to Bus Éireann services between Limerick and Galway, and on the 343 and 336 routes in Clare.

A number of Irish Rail services in the Orange and Red alert regions will also run at reduced speeds.

Earlier: Status red weather warning issued for Kerry and Clare; Munster to get 'most severe and damaging gusts'

Met Eireann have extended the Status Red wind warning to Co. Kerry.

The forecaster said Storm Hannah will bring winds of around 80km/h with violent gusts of between 130km/h and 150 km/h in places in the county this evening between 6pm and 8pm.

The worst of the weather is expected from 8pm to 11pm in Co. Clare with Met Eireann advising people to stay indoors.

Update: The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users to take extreme care over the next 48 hours due to the weather warnings.

The RSA advises road users to heed the warnings of local authorities and Met Eireann and to not make unnecessary journeys.

They have also warned of objects being blown out onto the road, such as falling or fallen debris and vehicles veering across the road. Drivers are also advised to use dipped headlights at all times.

They said that strong cross-winds could affect a driver's control of their vehicle, especially high-sided vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.

Advising drivers to "expect the unexpected", they also said motorists should allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists as they may be blown off course by strong winds.

Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt and to take extra care when crossing the road or cycling in extremely windy conditions.

They also advise pedestrians to walk on a footpath, not in the street, but if there is no footpath to walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic.

The Office of Public Works has announced to prevent further visitor access to Charles Fort, Kinsale in Cork due to the weather warnings. Derrynane will also close to the public from 4-5pm onwards as a precautionary measure and should re-open as normal by 10am Saturday.

OPW staff will assess Fota Arboretum and Gardens in the morning to assess damage and will close the arboretum if necessary.

The OPW also announced that Garnish Island will be assessed first thing on Saturday morning and will be fully or partially closed to the public if necessary.

Update 12.20pm: Met Éireann has issued a status red weather warning for Co Clare.

The wind warning comes into place at 8pm and lasts until 11pm tonight.

The forecaster says Storm Hannah's northwesterly winds will reach mean speeds in excess of 80km/h with violent gusts of 130 to 150 km/h for a time this evening.

Liz Walsh from Met Éireann says Munster will bear the brunt:

"Hannah contains some unseasonably strong winds and with many trees now in leaf there is a risk of damage due to trees falling and flying debris," she said.

"The strongest winds will be in the southern and western quadrants of the storm.

That means that Munster is looking likely to bear the brunt of the most severe and damaging gusts.

Clare County Council is asking members of the public to stay indoors and to avoid all travel from 8pm to 11pm tonight.

The local authority said overnight travel thereafter should only be undertaken if absolutely necessary.

Organisers of events taking place in Co Clare this evening are being advised to postpone events in the interests of public safety due.

Clare County Council’s crisis management team will continue to meet during the day and crews will commence any clear-up operations once the warning period has expired.

The Cliffs of Moher will be closed to the public from 3pm today until tomorrow.

An Orange warning is also in place for Cork, Kerry and Limerick, which is valid from 4pm today until 1am tomorrow, as well as warnings for wind in Tipperary and Waterford from 10pm tonight until 2am tomorrow.

A yellow wind alert has been issued from 11pm for counties in the west, north-west and south-east.

A red weather warning means that the public should “take action to protect themselves and their properties”.

The 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.

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 coordination arrangements as well as public information messaging.

Appropriate 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.

ESB Networks are on standby to respond to any damage to the supply network arising from the storm.

The NDFEM says appropriate response and local coordination arrangements are in place, and said it was not considered necessary to activate national emergency arrangements this 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.

Additional reporting by PA

Earlier: Met Éireann considering upgrading Storm Hannah to red weather warning

Update 11.10am: An orange warning has been issued for wind in Galway.

The warning is in place from 7pm until midnight tonight.

Met Éireann said northwesterly winds, associated with Storm Hannah, will reach mean speeds of 65-80 km/h with gusts of 110 to 130 km/h this evening and early tonight. The winds will be strongest along the coast.

It follows earlier wind warnings for Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick, which are valid from 4pm today until 1am tomorrow, as well as warnings for wind in Tipperary and Waterford from 10pm tonight until 2am tomorrow.

A yellow wind alert has also been issued from 11pm for counties in the west, north-west and south east.

Gardaí are appealing to the public to be aware of the dangers posed by high winds and are asking people living near coastal, cliff and waterway areas to be extra cautious.

Update 9.15am: Storm Hannah could be upgraded to a red warning for parts of the country later today.

At the moment, a status orange warning is in place for Cork, Clare, Kerry and Limerick from 4pm and will be extended to Tipperary and Waterford from 10pm.

A yellow wind warning will also come into effect from 11pm for counties in the west, north-west and south-east.

John Eagleton from Met Eireann says they will know later this morning whether they need to issue a new warning.

"We're certainly having discussions about it alright but no decision has been made yet.

"Just a slightly different track but more or less on the same lines. It comes in over the Aran Islands, Storm Hannah, about eight o'clock and exits south of Dublin just around midnight."

Earlier: Storm Hannah warning extended to two more counties

Update 7.25am: Strong winds and some power outages are expected as Storm Hannah hits the country later.

A status orange warning is in place for Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick from 4pm and will be extended to Tipperary and Waterford from 10pm tonight.

The storm is due to bring gusts of up to 130km an hour to those counties.

A status yellow wind warning will also come into effect from 11pm for counties in the west, north-west and south-east.

Director of Road Safety at the RSA, Michael Roland, says motorists will need to be cautious during the weather warnings.

"We're asking all road users to exercise caution, to check their local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of conditions before setting out on the trip," he said.

"In particular for motorists, we'd ask them to slow down, to be aware that objects could be blown out in their path and to watch out for fallen debris on the road."

The south-west is expected to see the worst of the storm conditions.

"It does look at the moment like it could be quite severe in the south-west," said forecaster Matthew Martin

"It has been a fairly quiet storm season over-all so [Storm Hannah] could well pack a punch, especially with the trees in full bloom at the moment."

Met Éireann says that the warnings for Storm Hannah will "be under constant review and will be amended if required".

It says that "some disruption and power outages likely" and people living in or travelling to the south-west should be "be prepared for the anticipated conditions".

It added that there is "an increased threat of tree damage and possible felling". Met Éireann is also warning of "dangerous waves expected to crash into southwest coasts".

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