Two people have been killed by falling trees as Storm Malik battered northern parts of the UK on Saturday, cutting off power from thousands and causing widespread disruption.
A nine-year-old boy died in hospital after a tree fell on him and a man in Winnothdale, near Stoke. Emergency services were called at 1pm on Saturday, and they were taken to the Royal Stoke university hospital. The man is still receiving treatment.
Meanwhile, Police Scotland said a 60-year-old woman was fatally injured by a falling tree in Aberdeen as gusts of up to 85mph were recorded on the nearby Aberdeenshire coast.
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted at about 5pm on Saturday that the impact of Storm Malik was “severe”.
“Power companies working hard to restore supply ASAP but many SSEN customers, [especially] in NE may be without power over weekend,” Sturgeon wrote. “Tragically, the very severe weather has resulted in loss of life today. My thoughts and condolences are with those affected.”
Winds of more than 100mph have been reported in parts of Scotland, with thousands of homes in Scotland and England having their electricity supplies disrupted as power lines collapsed.
There is widespread disruption to travel, and police have urged people to avoid travelling unless it is “absolutely essential”.
The Met Office’s chief meteorologist, Paul Gunderson, said earlier on Saturday: “The impacts of Storm Malik are going to be greatest in Denmark on Sunday, but the track of the storm in the preceding hours means that the UK will be dealt a glancing blow as Malik moves eastwards on Saturday.
“For those in the north of the UK, there will be high winds and rain on Saturday, with showers possibly turning wintry in the high ground in the north. The highest winds are expected in exposed coastal areas in the north and east of Scotland, but it will be a windy day for most.”
Sean Batty, a meteorologist for the broadcaster STV, tweeted on Saturday morning: “Had an extreme gust of 147mph recorded on the Cairngorm summit an hour ago. This is an incredible strength, but still a way off from the record of 173mph recorded back in 1986.”
Sturgeon warned that Storm Corrie “may be more severe for parts of Scotland – eg Highlands, Grampian, Tayside [–] than anticipated”.
Yellow weather warnings were in place across all of Scotland, northern England and parts of Northern Ireland for most of Saturday, and yellow weather warnings for wind were issued across north-east England and Yorkshire until 6pm, while a warning for wind remains in force across Shetland until 8pm, the Met said.
Another yellow warning for wind is in place for northern areas of the UK from 6pm on Sunday until noon on Monday.
On Saturday afternoon Northern Powergrid said crews were still working to repair damage and restore power to homes. More than 78,000 customers had been hit by power cuts since 4am on Saturday, with 30,000 customers still affected in the evening, predominantly in Northumberland and the County Durham area.
In a statement on their website, it added that weather conditions were making it hard to carry out some repairs, and it expected some homes could be without power for the weekend.
Director Paul Glendinning recommended that those who were being significantly affected should seek “alternative accommodation”.
In Scotland, about 40,000 properties are without power in Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perthshire and the Moray Coast, the BBC reported, while about 20,000 are expected to remain cut off overnight.
A number of care homes in Aberdeenshire are reportedly affected by power supply issues, and another 6,000 households are waiting to be reconnected in the Borders and Lothian.
SP Energy Networks, the company responsible for electricity transmission in central and southern Scotland, advised customers to keep a battery or wind-up torch to hand and keep their phones fully charged. People should also beware of fallen power lines, it added.
Network Rail Scotland said it would introduce some speed restrictions for safety and had additional staff equipped with chainsaws across the network to deal with fallen trees on tracks, PA reported.
On Saturday morning, it said fallen trees had caused numerous services to be cancelled, including Inverness to Thurso, Perth to Aberdeen, Aberdeen to Dundee and Glasgow Queen Street to Oban.
Two Scottish Premiership games – Aberdeen v St Johnstone and Dundee v St Mirren – were called off because of safety concerns.