UK warns of "Arctic shot" after three killed in storm
Britain braced for an Arctic freeze Sunday in the aftermath of a powerful storm that left three people dead and thousands in Scotland facing days without power.
"Storm Arwen" brought wind gusts of almost 100 miles (160 kilometres) per hour late Friday, before weakening and drifting towards continental Europe.
Heavy snow in its tail forced the cancellation of Sunday's Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur in northwest England, and the severe gale has wreaked havoc on road and rail transport across the UK.
Meteorologists warned that temperatures could plunge to minus 10 degrees Celsius in parts of the country overnight, with the mercury falling below zero in London too, due to an "Arctic shot" moving south from Scotland.
The UK Health Security Agency issued a weekend-long cold weather alert, urging the public to take precautions against the freeze.
But in Scotland, 45,000 customers remained without power on Sunday after more than 100,000 homes were cut off on Friday night, according to the utility company Scottish Southern and Electricity Network (SSEN).
Mark Rough, SSEN customer operations director, said the damage from Arwen's high winds was three times greater than that from the "Beast from the East" winter storm that hit Europe in early 2018.
"Our teams are responding to some of the most significant and challenging conditions experienced in the areas affected in decades," Rough said, warning that many customers may not see their electricity restored for several days.
Police said falling trees killed three men late Friday—one in northwest England, one in Scotland and the third in Northern Ireland.
© 2021 AFP