Forecasters warned that Storm Eunice - one of the worst weather events to hit the UK in decades - had the potential to cause damage to roof structures, and it turns out that they were right.
We’re not sure it’s quite what Parliament had in mind, but the O2 Arena - London’s famous entertainment megadome - has suffered significant damage, with several of its fabric roof panels being torn off.
The BBC reports that it was hit by gusts of up to 90mph, and the building has been evacuated. There are no reports of any injuries.
More and more of the Dome is being shredded pic.twitter.com/EUgyH2ryvKFebruary 18, 2022
Originally christened The Millennium Dome, and opened by the UK government at the turn of the century, the O2 Arena was launched as an indoor entertainment venue in 2007. It hosted both Prince’s iconic 21-night residency and Led Zeppelin’s one-off reunion show that same year.
Prior to his death, Michael Jackson had been due to play a 50-date run at the O2 in 2009, and the Greenwich venue has since become a go-to touring spot for musical megastars.
A statement posted on the O2 Arena website says: “Due to today’s adverse weather conditions, we can confirm that there has been some damage caused to the tent fabric in our roof at The O2. The affected areas have been cleared and The O2 will remain closed for the rest of the day.”
Simply Red meanwhile, who had been due to play the O2 this weekend but were forced to reschedule their dates due to Covid infections among the band and crew, described the damage as “tragic”.
It’s currently unclear how long the roof will take to fix and how many other shows will be affected.
Looks like the O2 shows wouldn’t have happened anyhow. Tragic. #Eunice pic.twitter.com/5OunEsCJjfFebruary 18, 2022