London, Thanasis Gavos

“Unprecedented” weather conditions are expected to prevail in Scotland from the afternoon, with a rare red warning for heavy rain, strong winds and flooding issued for the east of the country.

The risk of flooding accompanying the rain of so-called Storm Babette led local authorities to issue a precautionary evacuation order for parts of the town of Brechin in County Angus, where the River Brechin passes, at midday.

A total of 14 flood alerts and eight flood warnings have been issued for Scotland.

Scotland, like Ireland yesterday, is already being hit by winds in excess of 110km/h, while rain has started to fall steadily since the morning. It is estimated that up to 250mm of rain could fall within the day.

The Meteorological Office warns of a high risk of loss of human life and significant problems in transport and energy supply. Damage to buildings and infrastructure is also expected.

People are being told to stay at home, with many schools and businesses closing from midday.

Subordinate orange and yellow warnings for heavy rain and strong winds are in place in many other areas of the UK.

The warnings will be in effect until at least noon Friday.