The hurricane, warned to be of “potential danger to life” by UK’s Meterological Office and heading towards the Irish coast, has forced universities in the Republic of Ireland to close on Monday.
Following a special meeting with the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, the Department of Education and Skills announced on Sunday evening that all schools, colleges and other education institutions in areas under red alert should remain closed on Monday.
“For parents, this means that their children will not attend school tomorrow in any area where there is a status red wind alert already announced or announced in the intervening time,” the website wrote.
Hurricane Ophelia is heading toward the British Isles, where it's expected to make landfall as a weaker storm Monday https://t.co/iat8IjloEC
— NPR (@NPR) October 15, 2017
According to the BBC, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said defence forces were being sent to red weather alert areas such as Wexford, Mayo, Kerry, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
Among universities affected are Trinity College Dublin, which has advised students to take “extreme care” and check for updates on the storm.
“All students and staff are urged to stay away from the university unless they have an urgent reason to attend. Access to the main campus may be limited. Residents, and anybody else entering the campus, are urged to take extreme care,” the Director of Public Affairs and Communications in Trinity, Tom Molloy wrote in an email statement to The University Times.
“All Trinity students in health sciences on elective clinical placements are advised to stay at home tomorrow. Those who are employed in a pre-registration capacity (and not students) should present for duty as normal or should make contact with their hospital,” he added.
Trinity’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) president Kevin Keane urged all students to “weather the storm” at home and take the opportunity to take a day off.
Keane said in a statement by email to The University Times:
“The SU urges all students to stay at home, and look after themselves and each other.
“Unless absolutely necessary, everyone should stay at home and treat this as a day to catch up on movies, relax and, quite literally, weather the storm. We expect to be back to normal by Tuesday,”
Trinity joins several other universities across the country which have informed students that school will be closed on Monday due to the storm.
Hurrican Orphelia is expected to hit the UK on Monday and was reported to be blowing winds of 90mph (145km/h) four hours ago.