Storm Arwen: The front of the building collapses onto the Blackpool Promenade as tourists rush to safety

Bricks plunged to the ground after falling from the building, on the corner of Springfield Road and the Promenade, opposite the Metropole Hotel, around 5.40pm.

Motorists saw their Illuminations journeys disrupted as police officers braved the howling wind and swirling sand to close the Prom and barricade the building, which has a banner advertising fireworks on the ground floor.

The first floor houses holiday apartments and was inhabited at the time, a spokeswoman for the council said.

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Bricks lay in the ground after falling from the front of the building earlier tonight (Photo: The Gazette)

They managed to get to safety without any reports of injuries and they have either returned home or been given alternative housing, she said.

Firefighters from the resort’s Forest Gate station assisted with a ‘small number of evacuations from adjacent properties’, the service said.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area until experts can determine if the building is safe, the council spokeswoman added.

The electronic signs scattered around the resort this evening warned of the emergency, which came after hours of strong winds of up to 60 mph.

Trams were also removed along the downtown railroad track, with services running from Cabin to Fleetwood stops in one direction and Starr Gate to the Tower in the other.

A man in Northern Ireland was killed when a falling tree landed on his car while people in parts of eastern Scotland were warned to bunker and avoid traveling for any reason.

The Met Office issued a rare ‘red’ wind warning from 6 p.m. 15.00 today to kl. 2am tomorrow as the wind arrived to hit the country, with gusts expected to be as high as 90 mph and waves as high as 10 meters.

The red warning stretches along the east coast from Middlesbrough to beyond Aberdeen and is the first maximum alert issued since storm Dennis in February 2020.

Grahame Madge, a spokeswoman for the Met Office, said the forecaster did not “issue red warnings easily” and warned people to stay away from the affected area.

“People really need to recognize that we do not issue red warnings easily, so therefore, when we do, we feel there is a much higher risk,” he said.

“Of course, we urge people to take action as a result, and in this case, the action is unlikely to go to the coast.

The warning, which is the highest issued by the Met Office, means the impact is likely to be severe with potential for damage to buildings and homes, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down.

The filling coast, along with large parts of the UK, was issued with a ‘yellow’ warning, meaning the chance of serious disturbance is lower but still exists.

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