A PRIMARY school in south Essex has been forced to close because it is "unable to keep the children safe" after the loss of several vital utilities.

West Horndon Primary School is closed today because "the school currently has no electricity, phones, hot water, and fire alarms".

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In a statement published on Essex County Council's emergency school closures list, it added: "Therefore we have had to close as we are unable to keep the children safe. An area of West Horndon village has been affected by the power cut."

Several areas of Essex have been affected by power cuts as heavy winds batter the county, while the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning covering the whole county.

The warning is in place until 10pm on Monday.