Hurricane Ophelia's remnants batter UK, Ireland; 3 dead

A plane flies past the Shard in central London, as the sky takes on an unusual orange colour caused by Hurricane Ophelia Monday Oct. 16, 2017. The unusual occurrence was due to the remnants of the hurricane dragging in tropical air and dust from the Sahara. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
People watch the waves and sea spray at Lahinch on the west coast of Ireland Monday Oct. 16, 2017, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit Ireland and parts of Britain. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
A man take selfie in the high wind at Lahinch on the west coast of Ireland Monday Oct. 16, 2017, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit Ireland and parts of Britain. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
An overhead road sign on the M2 motorway near Belfast, Northern Ireland warns drivers of, "Strong Winds Forecast Today", as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit Ireland and parts of Britain. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)
A woman stands as waves crash against the sea wall at Penzanze, Cornwall southwestern England, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
A man take selfie in the high wind at Lahinch on the west coast of Ireland Monday Oct. 16, 2017, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit Ireland and parts of Britain. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
A family walks along a seawall during storm Ophelia on East Pier in Howth, Dublin, Ireland, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia batter Ireland and the United Kingdom with gusts of up to 80mph (129kph), Monday Oct. 16, 2017. Three people have been confirmed dead in Ireland in incidents related to Storm Ophelia. (Caroline Quinn/PA via AP)
A couple watch waves break on the sea wall at Penzanze, southwestern England as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
A woman stands as waves crash against the sea wall at Penzanze, Cornwall southwestern England, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
A woman stands as waves crash against the sea wall at Penzanze, Cornwall southwestern England, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
The sky turns orange and yellow in Brittany Monday, Oct.16, 2017 in Chasne-sur-Illet, western France. The sky in France's Brittany region turned yellow as nearby Ophelia storm brought a mix of sand from Sahara and particles from Spain and Portugal's forest fires over the region. Ophelia post-tropical cyclone passed west of the Brittany coast Monday before bringing violent winds to Ireland and the United Kingdom. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Two women enjoy the sunshine on the beach in Broadstairs, Kent, southeast England Monday Oct. 16, 2017, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia lashes southwestern Britain and Ireland. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Waves break on Longships lighthouse off the coast of Lands End, southwestern England, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)
Waves break on the sea wall at Penzanze, southwestern England, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
Waves break around the church in the harbour at Porthleven, Cornwall southwestern England, as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

LONDON — The remnants of Hurricane Ophelia slammed into Ireland with wind gusts of up to 80 mph (130 kph) on Monday, killing at least three people, grounding planes, shutting schools and causing widespread power outages.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar urged people to stay indoors until the storm passed. Tens of thousands of homes were without power and the military was placed on standby. Some hurricane-force gusts were reported 30 years to the day after a weather event dubbed the "Great Storm of 1987" battered southern England.

"It is a very dangerous storm," Varadkar said. "The last time there was a storm this severe, 11 lives were lost," he added, referring to Hurricane Debbie, which hit Ireland in 1961.

Although Ophelia has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, Ireland's National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather warned that the storm is still "unprecedented, with serious life-threatening conditions."

Ireland's weather service, Met Eireann, described the storm as the most powerful on record to have ever been this far east in the Atlantic.

Forecasters warned of flying debris, such as tiles blown from roofs. Large waves around coastal districts tossed sand and rocks onto coastal roads, seafronts and properties.

Wind warnings were in place for Northern Ireland, parts of Wales and western parts of England. Planes were grounded at several locations in the British Isles.

Some 130 flights were cancelled at Dublin Airport, while flights were also grounded at Manchester Airport. Both Ryanair and Easy Jet cancelled flights at Belfast International Airport, with more cancellations expected. Several flights to British airports were also diverted because of unusual odors on board thought to be associated with the remnants of the storm.

Authorities warned anyone with travel plans to contact their airline.

In parts of the United Kingdom and in France's Brittany region, the sky turned an eerie color as Ophelia's winds carried a mix of sand from the Sahara and particles from forest fires in Spain and Portugal. On social media, people posted pictures of London landmarks against yellow-orange skies.

A non-profit group that provides lifesaving services around the British Isles warned people to stay away from seas and beaches.

Matt Crofts, lifesaving manager for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, said coastal waters are "particularly dangerous and unpredictable, with large waves and swells being a major risk."

As tempting as it is to watch crashing surf, it isn't worth the risk of being struck by large waves that can easily knock weather watchers off their feet, Crofts said.

"The sea is far more powerful than you think and your chances of survival are slim if you are dragged into the swell," he said.

And there is more to come Tuesday. Flights and ferries were cancelled in parts of Scotland, and authorities warned of coastal flooding in the southwest. The government of Ireland said schools and colleges would remain closed, and Northern Ireland's Education Authority said the same.

As the storm moved toward Northern Ireland, workers sealed off the Peace Bridge in Londonderry with tape and sandbags, closing it as a precautionary measure.

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