Image: PA

More than 15,000 homes were left without power as the UK was battered by 96 mph winds overnight due to Storm Atiyah.

Massive electricity faults were reported in Caerphilly, Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Swansea.

“Western Power Distribution said it had restored power to about half those hit by power cuts overnight in Wales – with just under 700 homes without power at 7:00am.

“Elsewhere, around 1,400 homes were cut off in the Camborne area of Cornwall and 100 properties were without power near Exeter, Devon.

“Christmas lights in the popular Cornish seaside village of Port Isaac were knocked out and other decorations ripped homes,” the report said.

“In the north Cornwall town of Bude, the roof of a Sainsbury’s was partly blown off by the high winds.

“Before slamming into Britain, Storm Atiyah left around 10,000 homes without power in Ireland after a gusts caused a massive fault in County Kerry.”

Meanwhile, the Met Office issued warnings for wind for Devon and Cornwall, with a “sea area gale warning” for Plymouth.

Image: PA

“A yellow alert warned of very strong winds also striking west Wales until 9am on today.

“Drivers are also being urged to take extra caution on roads this morning as parts of the south west were also hit by torrential rain and thunder and lightening overnight.

“Power Board engineers have been battling to restore supplies, with Western Power saying it hoped to restore supplies to most throughout this morning.

“Home owners were urged to fasten festive decorations or take them down and bring them indoors to stop them being blown along the street where they could injure people.”

The Met Office warned: “It’s likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray and large waves, and damage to temporary structures is possible.

“People are strongly advised to stay clear of cliff tops and coastal paths.

“There is a risk of outside Christmas decorations flying past people’s windows.

“Stay safe everyone as this storm looks set to pack a punch especially for exposed coastal areas and hills.

“Due to a combination of high seas and storm surge, there is a possibility of coastal flooding.

“In addition, surface water and spray may cause poor visibility and driving conditions.

“There will be run-off from fields, large areas of surface water and blocked drains from debris.”

People “heading for Christmas parties at seaside pubs” were urged to “steer clear of promenades and beach side paths as huge waves lashed coastal areas.

“Residents in towns and villages beside the sea were preparing to sandbag front doors to keep out floods as enormous waves smashed over sea defence walls,” the report added.

“Father Christmas motorised floats parading through some towns were advised to call off the fun in case children rushing out to greet Santa got hit by flying decorations.”

Atiyah is the first named storm of the Christmas and New Year season.