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Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 19:19 IST

Passengers End Up In ‘Wrong’ Countries Amid Storm Isha Created Travel Chaos In UK, Ireland

Storm Isha, forecasted to impact everyone in the United Kingdom, lived up to predictions.

Manasvi Asthana
Passengers End Up In ‘Wrong’ Countries Amid Storm Isha Created Travel Chaos In UK, Ireland
Passengers End Up In ‘Wrong’ Countries Amid Storm Isha Created Travel Chaos In UK, Ireland | Image:Representative image
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Storm Isha, forecasted to impact everyone in the United Kingdom, lived up to predictions. Its effects weren't confined to the ground alone in the UK and Ireland, where weather agencies had issued multiple warnings; the skies were also significantly affected.

Storm Isha disrupts UK flights

Flights from the UK were redirected to Germany and France as a result of Storm Isha. Numerous individuals in the UK and specific regions of Ireland were issued storm warnings as the tempest caused chaos with intense rainfall and powerful winds reaching speeds of up to 159 km/h. Remarkably, certain areas in the UK experienced their most robust winds in a decade to two decades.

Chaos unfolded at airports in the UK and Ireland as depicted in images and videos, with numerous flight cancellations, including over 160 flights from Dublin Airport. Videos also captured the challenges faced by certain planes attempting to land, experiencing turbulence before finally touching down at London airports.

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The resulting disorder saw passengers being transported to incorrect destinations, with some even ending up in entirely different countries. This, in turn, forced individuals to spend the night on terminal floors due to the disruptions caused by Storm Isha.

Flights bound for Bristol, London, and Dublin faced diversions to Paris, while a plane originally destined for Edinburgh found itself in the German city of Cologne.

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Complicating matters, as some of these flights were operating on domestic routes, passengers lacked passports, rendering them unable to navigate immigration procedures in the unexpected foreign locations.

Luke Bromage-Henry, sharing his ordeal after his flight from Jersey to London diverted to Paris, recounted sitting on the runway for several hours, deeming it the "worst trip to Paris ever." Having spent the night in the Charles de Gaulle Airport terminal, he added, "I slept for about two hours underneath some chairs in the transfer terminal."

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Impact on Ryanair in Ireland

Ryanair, the Irish carrier, bore the brunt of Storm Isha, with Dublin as its base. On Sunday, a staggering 166 flights to and from Dublin Airport were canceled, as reported by Kevin Cullinane, the group head of communications at Dublin Airport, according to CNN. The airport witnessed 36 diversions and 34 go-arounds, indicating the storm's severe disruption.

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International diversions 

Ryanair's flights encountered international diversions and challenges during the storm. Flights from Spanish cities, Tenerife and Seville, bound for Edinburgh, found themselves in Germany's Cologne. Another Ryanair flight from Budapest to London attempted multiple landings before deciding to return to Hungary. Similarly, a Lanzarote to Dublin flight, after reaching the Irish capital, diverted to Bordeaux, France, without making an attempted landing.

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Unusual flight routes and extended journeys

The storm led to unusual flight routes and extended journeys for Ryanair passengers. A Manchester to Dublin flight, typically a 30-minute route, turned into a two-and-a-half-hour ordeal as it made a go-around and was diverted to Paris. Another plane on the same route shuttled back and forth between the UK and Ireland for over three hours before finally landing in Liverpool, approximately 50 kilometers from the departure airport.

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Fatalities caused by Storm Isha

Tragically, at least two individuals lost their lives in incidents linked to Storm Isha on Monday (Jan 22), according to media reports. In Scotland, a man lost his life when a tree struck the car he was in, while another man in Northern Ireland succumbed to injuries after a tree fell onto his car.

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Power Outages amidst Isha's fury

Storm Isha wreaked havoc across the UK, leaving thousands without power in various regions. The aftermath of the storm has intensified concerns as the country prepares for another impending threat—Storm Jocelyn, expected to hit on Tuesday (Jan 23). Authorities are bracing for heavy rains and the potential risk of flooding.

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Ongoing challenges and the arrival of Storm Jocelyn

As the UK copes with the aftermath of Storm Isha, the nation faces additional challenges with the looming arrival of Storm Jocelyn on Tuesday (Jan 23). The upcoming storm is anticipated to bring substantial rainfall and poses a potential threat of flooding, adding to the already critical situation in several affected areas.

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Published January 23rd, 2024 at 19:19 IST

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