Storm Brian: Gale-force winds and high seas hit UK coast

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Media captionWater levels were high in Aberaeron harbour

Storm Brian has hit the UK with gale-force winds and high seas, though disruption has not been as bad as predicted.

Gusts of 78mph were recorded in Capel Curig and Aberdaron, north Wales, with 84mph recorded on the Isle of Wight.

There was flash flooding in several Irish cities, including Limerick.

Red and amber flood warnings cover much of northern England. People are urged to “take immediate action” to stay safe and prevent damage.

There are also flood warnings in place in the South West and Wales, while the south of England and London were under yellow wind warnings.

The storm comes after three people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people – mostly in the Irish Republic – were left without power after the remnants of Storm Ophelia battered the British Isles after weakening from its earlier hurricane force.

Strong winds and high seas first reached the western coast of Ireland overnight on Friday.

Gusts have hit 80mph (130km/h) in the country, said Irish weather agency Met √Čireann, and flooding has been reported in some areas as the water level of the River Shannon rose.

The agency issued an orange warning – its second most severe alert – in seven Irish counties and advised motorists to take care, as trees weakened by Storm Ophelia could fall.

A race meeting at Fairyhouse was cancelled and the Cliffs of Moher tourist attraction in County Clare has been closed.

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Flooding was caused by the storm in Limerick, Ireland

In Wales, trains and ferries have been cancelled and seafront roads closed.

Natural Resources Wales said the coastline was likely to be “extremely dangerous this weekend”.

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Flood barriers are readied in Galway City

Tenby RNLI said it had launched its lifeboat to help a person in difficulty at Skrinkle, while Porthcawl RNLI warned people to watch the storm waves on its live feed, after people were spotted taking photographs from the harbour wall.

Ceredigion council has also warned people to “keep away” from seafronts and “be careful” on low-lying land where coastal flooding is possible.

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Flood barriers have been put up in Cornwall to protect costal towns

The Environment Agency has issued more than 20 flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible – most of which are in the west and south-west of England.

Flood barriers have been put in place in areas including Fowey in Cornwall, but Frank Newell, from the Environment Agency, said the surge had been lower than forecast.

“In terms of impact, we’ve had spray overtopping quaysides, but we don’t have at the moment any reported property flooding,” he said.

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Waves crashing over Aberystwyth promenade

Across the UK, National Rail warned the weather was affecting train services.

In Wales and southern England, fallen trees and other debris on the tracks caused cancellations and disruption on some lines. Speed restrictions were also in place on Welsh lines.

In England, South Western Railway has put a temporary speed restriction in place in both Hampshire and Dorset, and confirmed a tree had blocked the line between Fareham and Southampton – though this has now been cleared.

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Media captionWaves crash into the seafront in Aberystwyth, Wales, as Storm Brian hits the UK

Speed restrictions are also operating on the Gatwick Express, Southern Rail and Thameslink, with some reduced services to ease congestion.

The Environment Agency’s national flood duty manager, Ben Lukey, warned people against posing for photos during the hazardous conditions.

He said: “We urge people to stay safe along the coast and warn against putting yourself in unnecessary danger by taking ‘storm selfies’ or driving through flood water – just 30cm (11in) is enough to move your car.”

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Bob Felche

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Waves crashed over Mullion Harbour in Cornwall on Saturday

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