Storm Lorenzo: Schools on west coast should 'err on side of caution'

The Department of Education has told schools and other educational institutions along the west coast to "err on the side of caution" in the face of approaching Storm Lorenzo.

A decision to close is up to individual schools or other educational institutions, the Department has confirmed.

Met Éireann has announced that a status orange wind warning will be in place for these counties from 6pm on Thursday to 3am on Friday morning.

In a statement, the Department of Education said schools, third level colleges and further education centres in areas affected by a status orange alert should remain vigilant and keep abreast of any updates from Met Éireann and other authorities.

Related: Weather this week: Storm Lorenzo makes its way to the west coast

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“In all events, and if in any doubt, schools and other education settings should err on the side of caution,” the department said.

"Any and all decisions about school closures will be informed by, as well as prevailing and predicted conditions, any damage that might have been caused to school buildings overnight or at any time during the storm, and whether such damage –where it exists – might present a risk to safety.

"Similarly other education settings should make closure decisions based on those considerations."

Extratropical storm

Forecasts on Wednesday evening said Hurricane Lorenzo has passed the Azores and has transitioned into an extratropical storm which will make landfall on Ireland's west coast on Thursday.

Speaking this evening, Evelyn Cusack described the oncoming tropical storm as "very powerful" and said it is "rapidly approaching western Europe, in particular, Ireland".

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The area from south county Cork through counties Kerry, Clare, Limerick, Galway and Mayo are currently classified as Status Orange warning areas, with the rest of the country in the Status Yellow bracket.

But with Storm Force 11 gusts possible there is a risk of trees falling in any part of the country.

Advice being given to households, especially those in the Status Orange areas, was to ensure phones were charged in advance of the storm, torches fitted with fresh batteries, and that people have their Eircode and their unique MPRN number for electricity supply to hand in case they had to contact emergency services or report a power failure.

Main photograph: Unsplash

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