Ireland struggles to restore water, power, communications after hurricane

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-18 08:56

Ireland struggles to restore water, power, communications after hurricane

Winds batter the coast as storm Ophelia hits the County Clare town of Lahinch, Ireland Oct 16, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

DUBLIN - Irish authorities were still battling Tuesday to restore power, water and communications services, one day after Hurricane Ophelia swept across the country.

According to water and electricity companies, the number of customers currently without water is 66,000, while 151,000 homes and businesses remain without power, after Ophelia hit the country, bringing down trees and power lines.

They said they have several thousands of staff employees and contractors on the ground working on repairs, hoping to have most customers restored to service within three to four days.

Meanwhile, Eir, the largest telecommunications operator in the country, said about 150,000 customers are without broadband, telephone and mobile services as a result of Ophelia, adding that the hurricane had delivered widespread levels of damage to its infrastructure, including damage to poles and cables.

The telecom firm also said the country's southwest and midlands areas are the worst affected and in particular County Cork, where 51,000 customers have no phone service.

Hundreds of council workers were also deployed across the country to clear roads and to assess the extent of any structural damage to public buildings.

On Tuesday, all Irish Schools were closed for a second day, but most colleges and universities reopened.

A day ago, three people died in storm-related incidents in Louth, Tipperary and Waterford counties as Ophelia swept in over the country with damaging gusts and heavy rainfall.

Ophelia is the worst storm in Ireland in 50 years, according to Met Eireann, the Irish national meteorological service.

Met Eireann upgraded the entire country to a status red wind alert over Hurricane Ophelia before the storm landed the country's southwest coastal areas.

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