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There have been 45 deaths from such extreme winds in western Europe since 1961, according to Dr Hickey.

Your vision is affected and you'll be slow to react at red lights and emergency stops.

Dr Hickey, who is head of UCC’s department of geography, said Ophelia had one factor in common with the “Big Wind” of 1839, which caused hundreds of deaths, as in both cases the sweep affected the entire island to varying degrees.

“However, in 1839, there was far less information, a larger population, dwellings of many were more fragile, and recovery from injuries would have been far more challenging,”he said.

The M5 weather buoy subsequently broke away from its mooring and the Marine Institute says it was recovered on Tuesday by the MV Puffin of Fastnet Shipping in Waterford and brought ashore that night.

As Ophelia moved northwards, the M2 buoy to the east of Dublin also experienced a record significant wave height of 6.64 metres measured at 6pm on Monday October 16th, the institute said.

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