Water restrictions to continue after Storm Emma

Water rationing is to be introduced across Dublin overnight as widespread leaks, caused by burst pipes during freezing temperatures, led to major shortages.

Irish Water has warned that more than 60 million litres of water is gone from the system due to leaks and people running their taps overnight.

Water pressure restrictions are to be put in place for the greater Dublin area from 7pm on Monday until 7am Tuesday in order to allow reservoirs to replenish.

More than 10,000 homes and businesses across the country have been left without supply.

A further 121,000 customers in a number of counties are on water restrictions.

The water shortages come after days of heavy snowfall caused widespread chaos across the country.

As clean-up operations continue Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he believes there is a "definite possibility" that people will be found dead in their homes in the days ahead as a result of the recent severe weather.

"That is my fear. It is a definite possibility in the days ahead as we gain access to the homes that have been cut off," he said.

Mr Varadkar added: "We did have a number of fatalities in the last couple of days, road traffic accidents and people faced delays in getting emergency services to them.

"(This was) the worst snow storm in 35 years. Things will take a few more days before things get back to normal."

The National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) met again on Monday to review the severe weather situation.

NECG warned that as things improve Irish Water and the health sector are experiencing huge pressures.

"Their crisis management teams are working to manage the myriad of service issues which they face and, from the accounts, will be doing so for some time," the group added.

Amid concern that the thaw will lead to flooding in many areas, Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy has called on the government to ensure that all necessary resources are allocated to deal with it.

"Now that the thaw is setting in, the threat of flooding is now very real and the government must address the massive underspend that has been allowed to accumulate over the past seven years, as well as setting up a national insurance scheme and accelerate the rollout of flood warning systems," Mr Murphy added.

- Press Association and Digital Desk


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