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'Threat to life' risk warning as storm Helene heads for UK and Ireland

By Jack Hardy, Press Association

Forecasters have warned that Storm Helene could pose a danger to life when it bears down on the UK and Republic of Ireland next week.

Ferocious winds lurking in the Atlantic threaten to whip across western regions of England and Wales from Monday evening, heralding a day of disruption and hazardous conditions.

Helene is among a glut of tropical storms brewing in the region, with mass evacuations under way in southern US states as Florence barrels across Virginia and the Carolinas.

The Met Office issued two "yellow" alerts on Friday as the storm began creeping towards south-western corners of the UK and the tip of Ireland.

Its warning, in force between 6pm on Monday and midday on Tuesday, said "very strong winds" could pose the risk of "injuries and danger to life" because of flying debris.

Large waves lashing coastal regions also have the potential to harm by propelling "beach material" onto seafronts, the warning said.

Bridges, airports and ferry services in the affected areas face closure if winds grow too violent, while roads and rail routes might also be cut off.

Ireland is expected to endure the worst of the storm, while Wales and the Cornish peninsula will bear its brunt in England.

The storm is likely to die out by Wednesday, the forecaster said.

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