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Meeting of emergency group convened as Hurricane Lorenzo expected to track close to or over Ireland

Minister Eoghan Murphy said officials are closely monitoring the “powerful hurricane” as it travels across the Atlantic.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a meeting of the NECG during Storm Emma in 2018
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a meeting of the NECG during Storm Emma in 2018
Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Oct 1st 2019, 12:19 PM

A MEETING OF the National Emergency Coordination Group will take place today as Met Éireann continues to closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Lorenzo.

There is now a “high probability” that Lorenzo will track close to or over Ireland late on Thursday or Friday, Met Éireann has warned. 

The group – which consists of emergency personnel and key State services – will convene at 4pm this afternoon. 

Minister Eoghan Murphy confirmed details of the meeting. 

“Following meetings of the NDFEM and @MetEireann this morning on Hurricane Lorenzo, I am convening a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) at 4pm today,” Murphy said. 

“We will have further updates following this meeting.”

Met Éireann has said that Lorenzo is “a large and powerful hurricane” but added that it should weaken as it passes the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean with its path from there not yet apparent. It is expected to transition into an extra tropical storm before it reaches Ireland.

However, it said this afternoon that the storm will track close to or over Ireland later on Thursday and early Friday, giving high seas, severe winds and heavy rain.

Weather warnings will be issued on Wednesday morning, it said. 

Murphy has said management from the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency section of his department is working closely with Met Éireann on the matter.

“Met Éireann have been working with the US National Hurricane Centre, the EU and the UK Met Offices to forecast the evolution of Hurricane Lorenzo,” he said. “This hurricane is forecast to transition to a tropical storm as it tracks towards Ireland.

But we do not yet know it’s exact path.

The minister said contact had been made with all local authorities to monitor weather forecasts and prepare for any storm impacts by activating crisis management and local coordination arrangements.

Contact has also been made with the Department of Transport, the gardaí, ESB networks, the Office of Public Works and Irish Water but a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) will only meet “if I am advised it’s necessary”, Murphy said.

“Given the uncertainty associated with the track and evolution of Hurricane Lorenzo we have requested all departments to have staff on standby who are available to attend NECG at short notice,” he added.

With reporting from Cónal Thomas

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Sean Murray

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