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» »Unlabelled » Severe gales batter northern areas

Severe gale force winds are set to batter northern areas of the country.

Forecasters say the winds, which are travelling west across the north of Scotland, will be in excess of 80mph, and that 90mph gales are "not out of the question".

The worst hit areas are expected to be in Orkney, Caithness, Sutherland and the Western Isles.

Elsewhere, gusts could reach up to 70mph, but will not be as strong in Tayside, the Borders and Lothian regions, where winds are expected to be between 55-60mph.

The Met Office has issued amber alerts for the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland and parts of Grampian, where gales could become severe and possibly storm-force.

Heavy rain was expected to continue but is expected to ease later.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has also issued flood alerts for much of the country.

Northern Constabulary said a landslip had occurred near the A82 at Letterfinlay, Inverness-shire, and that temporary traffic lights are in place.

Tony Conlan, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the stormy weather will ease off throughout Sunday.

He said: "The far north areas of Scotland will experience some of the strongest winds, which will affect the north-east... They will be particularly strong over Orkney and Caithness and could exceed 80mph, but 90mph does not look out of the question."

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