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Tag Archive: England


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Independent

The stunning cascade is believed to be England’s highest waterfall – while it lasts

Storm Desmond has brought a waterfall back to life at a famous beauty spot for the first time in living memory.

While they last, the falls at Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales are believed to be the highest in England, thundering off a cliff 260ft (80m high).

Local residents and tourists gathered on Sunday to see the phenomenon, which is believed to be the first time the falls have flowed in hundreds of years.

Don’t look down!! Malham Cove with waterfall

Malham Cove in Yorkshire.. With water pouring over for the first time in living memory (apparently!).

Stu Gledhill, who filmed the scene, wrote on YouTube: “Talking to two neighbours who are both around 80 and have both lived in Malhamdale all their lives.

“They have never seen this happen before, and some suggestions are that it could be nearly 200 years since it was last recorded.”

 

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Independent

Storm Desmond: Hundreds made homeless by record-breaking rainfall as 46 severe flood warnings put in place

Figures suggest more than 340mm of rain fell in 24 hours
  • Kate Ng
  • Monday 7 December 2015A rescue team helps to evacuate people from their homes after Storm Desmond floods Carlisle A rescue team helps to evacuate people from their homes after Storm Desmond floods Carlisle Getty

Hundreds of people have been made homeless and thousands more left without power by Storm Desmond, which is thought to have broken the rainfall record set in 2009.

46 severe flood warnings remain in place in north-west England, where Cumbria was declared a major incident.

The army has been drafted in to help evacuate people from their homes and rescue those stranded after the river Eden burst its banks at Appleby-in-Westmorland, sweeping away bridges and sinking some properties under a metre of water.

About 350 soldiers were dispatched from the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment to Carlisle, one of the worst affected towns. A Chinook helicopter and mountain rescue teams were also sent out to assist victims.

11,000 homes in Lancaster have had electricity restored, with 44,000 more expected to have power back by Monday evening.

According to the BBC, provisional figures suggest more than 340mm of rain fell in 24 hours in the Lake District, breaking the record of 316.4mm previously held by Seathwaite, Cumbria, in 2009.

 

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STORMS UPDATE: Army drafted in to deal with Storm Desmond chaos

Crook O Lune near Lancaster

Crook O Lune near Lancaster

16:42Sunday 06 December 2015 12:43Saturday 05 December 2015

The extent of the devastating flooding from the torrential rain and gale force winds that have hit Lancashire in the last 36 hours is being revealed.

Army trucks have been stationed at a hospital in Lancaster to act as ambulances after flooding cut the city off from the power grid and blocked all but one access route.

Crook O Lune near Lancaster

Crook O Lune near Lancaster

The hospital has also cancelled all non-emergency operations tomorrow and a number of clinics as emergency services struggle to deal with the scale of the incident.

The north of the county – in particular Lancaster and surrounding areas – has been by far the worst hit.

From domestic electrical faults to people stuck in cars in flood water, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has been inundated with calls for help.

A spokesperson for the service said this morning: “In the last 24 hours we’ve had approximately 300 calls, and we’ve attended probably 200 incidents.

 

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BBC

Storm Desmond: Homes flooded and thousands without power

  • 6 December 2015

Tens of thousands of homes are without power after Storm Desmond caused severe flooding and travel disruption across northern England and parts of Scotland.

Power at about 55,000 homes could be off for “days” following flooding at an electricity substation in Lancaster.

The Army has been evacuating homes in Cumbria and nearly 50 severe flood warnings remain in place.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the government was doing all it can to help people and prevent further damage.

Mr Cameron will chair a meeting of the Cobra contingencies committee on Monday to co-ordinate the emergency response.

“I would like to pay a huge tribute to all those emergency workers and troops who have worked tirelessly to respond to this weekend’s events,” he said.

“There has been a tremendous response from local communities too, with people taking in families affected by the flooding.”

 

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 Independent

Storm Desmond: Weather sees police declare major incident as severe flooding and 80mph winds lash UK

One man dies as extreme conditions cause homes to be evacuated, disrupt trains and strand drivers

Storm Desmond has lashed large areas of England and Scotland as severe flooding and winds of up 80mph caused police to declare a major incident.

More than 30 severe storm warnings – indicating danger to life – were issued in Cumbria and Northumberland, and two severe storm alerts were issued in south-west Scotland as heavy rain continued well into Sunday.

Homes in the Cumbrian towns of Appleby and Keswick were evacuated and drivers were rescued from stranded cars as flood waters breached defences, submerged streets and disrupted road and rail services.

In London, a 90-year-old man died near Finchley Central station after he was blown into the side of a moving bus by a gust of wind.

The storm also caused disruption in north Wales, Northern Ireland and North Yorkshire, where thousands of homes were left without electricity.

 

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The Independent

Malnutrition and ‘Victorian’ diseases soaring in England ‘due to food poverty and cuts’

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50 per cent in just four years.

Cases of other diseases rife in the Victorian era including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have also increased since 2010, although cases of TB, measles, typhoid and rickets have fallen.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of foodbanks, said they saw “tens of thousands of people who have been going hungry, missing meals and cutting back on the quality of the food they buy”.

 

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The Independent

Malnutrition cases in English hospitals almost double in five years

Admissions to hospitals have soared as poorer families struggle to afford food

 

The shocking impact of recession and austerity on England’s poorest people has come to light again in figures showing the number of malnutrition cases treated at NHS hospitals has nearly doubled since the economic downturn.

Primary and secondary diagnoses of malnutrition – caused by lack of food or very poor diet – rose from 3,161 in 2008/09 to 5,499 last year, according to figures released by the health minister Norman Lamb.

While the data does not include information on the circumstances of each diagnosis, the rise coincides with a dramatic increase in the cost of living, and a spike in demand for charity food hand-outs.

The figures, broken down by region, reveal the heaviest burden of hunger is being felt in rural areas. Hospitals in Somerset saw the most cases, with 215 diagnoses, followed by Cornwall and Scilly Isles.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution  –  Oil Leak

 

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

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Environment PollutionUnited KingdomEngland, Marlborough [Esso pipeline, Wiltshire]Damage levelDetails

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in United Kingdom on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 11:05 (11:05 AM) UTC.

Description
Up to 150,000 litres of fuel leaked into farmland in Marlborough after thieves drilled through a major Esso pipeline. The attack on the pipeline running through the estate of the late multi-millionaire Robert Sangster in Manton happened on April 2, causing a high risk of an explosion. News of the incident, in which a tapping device was used to break into the pipeline 8ft underground, has only just emerged. It pumps fuel from the Fawley Refinery in Hampshire to a distribution terminal in Birmingham. A hose had been connected to the pipe, which carries a range of fuels, and was then hidden with soil. It was disturbed by a farmer, resulting in the leak. Esso does not yet know how much fuel has leaked but says 150,000 litres would be the worst case scenario. A spokesman said: “The pipeline was quickly repaired and has resumed operation and there is no indication of any impact on human health as a result of the leak. “We remain committed to resolving the situation fully. At the moment we are trying to determine whether there has been a leak and if there has, where the fuel has gone.” A 500-metre safety cordon was put into place while the scale of the incident was established and people living nearby moved as a precaution. Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service fire engines, from Marlborough, Calne and Devizes, together with an operational support unit and an incident command vehicle from Swindon. A fire crew remained at the scene for 32 hours as a precaution. Police and the fire service said this week that they didn’t release details of the incident because they were acting on behalf of the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum, a body including fire, police and ambulance, Wiltshire Council and Public Health England, and it was up to the forum to make the incident public. Town councillors were sent an email marked confidential by town clerk Shelley Parker giving brief details of the incident days afterwards. At a full council meeting on Monday Carl Barber, the Marlborough fire crew manager, told councillors: “It’s extremely dangerous. That is an extremely pressurised line at times and it can be a danger.”It was brought to our attention by the police as some was seen to be leaking and it did take 32 hours and seven appliances because our attendance was required while they isolated and dealt with the issue.” Esso has depressurised the pipeline to limit leaks. It says there is still a quantity of diesel and petrol mixture in a hole approximately 1.4 metres deep on the Manton estate. The firm contacted Action for the River Kennet to identify suitable monitoring points along the river in case of pollution. The Environment Agency is working with Public Health England to evaluate the impact on water courses. An Environment Agency spokesman said: “At present there is no impact to the River Kennet, but we continue to monitor the situation closely.” Police in Hampshire are investigating a large quantity of diesel found in a large industrial unit in East Wellow on April 17. It is believed that the tanks found were being filled from a sophisticated system which had tapped into a main fuel line. Two men, aged 32 and 34, from the Salisbury area, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to steal fuel. They are on bail pending further inquiries. Detectives from Lyndhurst CID in Hampshire are working with other police forces, including Wiltshire, as part of a wider investigation into breaches of fuel lines in the south of England.

 

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Thieves drill down 8ft into Esso pipeline – and spark major pollution alert at top fishing river

  • 150,000 litres of fuel contaminated soil close to River Kennet in Wiltshire
  • Thieves drilled underground pipeline causing the leak near fishing spot
  • Attack on Esso refinery pipe believed to be first of its kind in Britain

By Alun Rees

Petrol thieves have drilled into an underground pipeline and caused a leak of thousands of litres of fuel next to a popular fishing river, sparking a major environmental alert.

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

Police are investigating the attack on the Esso refinery pipeline, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

 

A Wiltshire Police source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’re used to fuel being stolen from farms by rural criminals but this is quite a step further. Two men have been detained in the Somerset area with a large amount of illicit fuel but at this stage we don’t know if the two incidents are linked.’

The theft was from the Midline pipeline, which carries fuel from the Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the Birmingham Fuels Terminal.

 

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Lives ‘left in ruin’ by rising tide of depression drugs

More people are being put on the pills but some experts are now warning they do more harm than good. Julia Llewellyn Smith reports

Jo Thompson

Jo Thompson ended up in hospital on anti-anxiety pills, and wanted to die when she stopped them  Photo: Geoff Pugh/Telegraph

Twenty years ago, Henry was living a fulfilled life. A happily married father from the Home Counties, his sales career was going well, he had a wide social circle and played football and golf regularly. “I was a conservative, head-down, career-minded person who enjoyed my life,” he says.

But in 1995, a bout of flu left Henry, then 31, exhausted and lethargic. He visited his GP, who told him he was depressed, and prescribed the world’s most popular antidepressant, Prozac. “Everything appeared completely benign — he said depression was a common complaint, the drugs would fix it and then I’d stop taking them.”

More than a decade later, Henry was far from cured and still taking antidepressants. “None of the drugs I was prescribed made me feel better, and most made me considerably worse. But every time I stopped them, the symptoms of what I thought was depression — but now know were of withdrawal — returned even more strongly, so I went back to the pills.”

By 2009, he was so unwell that he had to give up work. Finally, suspecting the drugs were the cause of his problems, he quit them, only to enter a new hell.

“It was torture. I thought I was going to die, and I didn’t care. For two years, I was in severe physical pain and so weak I lay all day on the sofa. My cognition was severely affected, I was dizzy, with blurred vision, I couldn’t read a bedtime story to my son and couldn’t remember things that had happened just a few seconds previously.”

Henry — who does not want to reveal his last name because of pending legal action against the drugs manufacturers — is just one of an estimated four million people in Britain taking antidepressants, a number that is rising sharply.

Last year, 53 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in England alone, nearly double the number prescribed a decade ago, and a six per cent increase in the past year. According to recent research, one in three British women and one in 10 men now take the medication, including popular brands such as Prozac, Cipramil and Seroxat, at some point in their lives.

But a growing number of experts now believe depression is vastly overdiagnosed and the drugs can cause far more harm than good.

This week, a new organisation, the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry (CEP), whose members include psychiatrists, academics and withdrawal charities, is launching, to educate the public about the risks of antidepressants. A keynote speech will be given by Prof Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, non-profit organisation that examines vast amounts of medical data to help doctors and patients reach informed conclusions about health.

 

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Millions of asthmatics unable to breathe as giant cloud of Saharan sand and toxic air covers Britain in layer of smog

  • Air pollution set to hit 10/10 due to dust from Sahara mixing with local pollution and toxic air from Europe
  • Parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales are worst affected by the problem
  • Dust has been generated from two source areas – one in central Algeria and another in southern Morocco
  • Meteorologists say it’s ‘particularly bad with weather conditions creating “perfect storm” for air pollution’
  • Those in affected areas advised to reduce strenuous outdoor exercise, especially if they get a sore throat
  • Adults and children with lung problems, heart problems and pensioners should avoid vigorous activity
  • Asthma sufferers may have to use inhalers more frequently for a few days until levels drop on Friday
  • But the dust does have positive aspects for fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the Brazilian rainforest

By Mark Duell and Fiona Macrae and Ted Thornhill

Published: 18:13 EST, 1 April 2014 | Updated: 10:56 EST, 2 April 2014

 

Millions of asthmatics were today having trouble breathing as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sat over Britain.

One sufferer said she felt like she had ‘a baby elephant sitting on my chest’, while another said her lungs felt like they had ‘cobwebs’ inside them.

Even those without health difficulties have been told by experts to reduce outdoor exercise, with air pollution set to hit 10 out of 10 in some areas.

Britons are being warned they may suffer breathing problems, with parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales worst affected.

Those in affected areas are advised to reduce the strenuous outdoor exercise they do, especially if they start to suffer from a cough or sore throat.

 

Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird's eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird’s eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

 

 

 

 

Pollution graphic from Press Association

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In pictures: Aftermath of storms

Two people were killed on Friday as strong winds and heavy rain hit southern England, adding to problems already caused by widespread storms and flooding.

Large waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

A freak wave killed an 85-year-old cruise ship passenger in the Channel. Here waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

The scene in Kingsway opposite Holborn Tube station in central London, after a woman was killed after large chunks of masonry fell on to a Skoda Octavia vehicle she was in at 11.05pm yesterday.

In central London, mother-of-three Julie Sillitoe, 49, was killed when the taxi she was driving was crushed by falling masonry. Her two passengers were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Waves break below the East Cliff Pavillion in Folkestone during high tide.

Strong wind and waves batter parts of the south coast, including the East Cliff Pavilion in Folkestone, as thousands of homes are without power.

Waves during high tide at Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone

Waves during high tide at Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone. High winds are expected to subside during Saturday, after reaching 80mph.

Soldiers help a tree surgeon remove a fallen tree in Egham, west London

Soldiers help a tree surgeon remove a fallen tree in Egham, west London.

Volunteers and charities fill sandbags before they are distributed in Egham, west of London.

Meanwhile, volunteers from the local community and charities have helped to fill sandbags before they are distributed in Egham following the wettest start to the year for 250 years.

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Pensioner, 85, dies after massive wave batters cruise ship as 80mph storms leave more than 106,000 homes without power

  • An elderly cruise ship passenger has died after vessel hit by freak wave in the English Channel
  • A taxi driver, Julie Sillitoe, was killed after her car was crushed by falling masonry in central London
  • A young pregnant woman and her unborn baby were killed in a car crash in South Wales
  • Thirty-two people were rescued from a beachfront restaurant after it was pelted by storm-blown shingle and flooded
  • Some 16 severe flood warnings – meaning there is a danger to life – are in place
  • Warnings issued for coastal communities from Cornwall to Hampshire, Gloucester and the Thames Valley
  • Nearly 150 less serious flood warnings and 250 flood alerts were also in place this morning
  • Engineers are battling strong winds and rain to restore 106,101 homes that have had their power cut off
  • Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue pieces of his decking which were blown on to Hove seafront
  • Environment Agency tells Whitehall more properties will be flooded and Thames water levels will rise

By Anna Edwards and Wills Robinson

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An 85-year-old man died yesterday after the 22,000-tonne Marco Polo cruise ship was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel, as more than 106,000 homes – including the Queen’s – are without power after winds of up to 80mph cut off electricity.

Water crashed through a window, injuring a number of people. The man was airlifted off the vessel along with a woman in her 70s, but later died. About 10 other people suffered minor injuries and were treated on board.

As howling winds and further downpours battered Britain and killed three people, 32 diners were rescued from a beachfront restaurant after it was pelted by storm-blown shingle and flooded.

 

Newhaven lighthouse is battered by waves as high winds from the latest winter storm continues

Newhaven lighthouse is battered by waves as high winds from the latest winter storm continues

Rough seas pound Brighton Marina, on England's south coast, as more than 140,000 homes are without power following the violent storms

Rough seas pound Brighton Marina, on England’s south coast, as more than 140,000 homes are without power following the violent storms

Huge waves engulf Newhaven harbour. Two people have died in the last day during the storms which have pounded the country

Huge waves engulf Newhaven harbour. Two people have died in the last day during the storms which have pounded the country

The Environment Agency and emergency services have battled to cope with worst winter storms in living memory. Coastal towns like Southsea, Hampshire, (today) have been engulfed by huge waves

The Environment Agency and emergency services have battled to cope with worst winter storms in living memory. Coastal towns like Southsea, Hampshire, (today) have been engulfed by huge waves

One man risked his life by standing on a jetty in Old Portsmouth in Southsea, Hampshire, as the waves surged over the walls and flooded the coast

One man risked his life by standing on a jetty in Old Portsmouth in Southsea, Hampshire, as the waves surged over the walls and flooded the coast

Large waves smash against the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

Large waves smash against the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex

One man died on the cruise liner 'Marco Polo' when a huge freak wave crashed through a window

One man died on the cruise liner ‘Marco Polo’ when a huge freak wave crashed through a window

The weather has also claimed three other lives. A woman died after falling masonry crushed the roof of her car, and a young pregnant woman and her unborn baby were killed as they drove through atrocious weather conditions in South Wales.

Police in Scotland are also probing whether a mother-of-two may have frozen to death after being locked outside her house.

The woman, 20, and her boyfriend were travelling on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road when they collided with another car at 11pm on Friday night.

Firemen and paramedics freed the woman from the wreckage and she was taken to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, but doctors were unable to save her and her unborn baby.

Minicab driver Julie Silltoe, 49, died after a chunk of masonry fell from a building and crushed the roof of the car she was in, in Holborn, central London.

Avril Ramsay, 48, was spotted lying in her garden in Edinburgh by a neighbour but she died in the street shortly after paramedics arrived on Thursday morning.

The weather was so devastating it ripped up roads and demolished buildings. Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home during the storm and dragged on to Hove seafront.

And forecasters have warned for another 2.5cm of rainfall today and plummeting temperatures as the winds and rain finally ease off in time for Sunday.

Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home and dragged on to Hove seafront

Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home and dragged on to Hove seafront

Norman Cook, the DJ known as Fatboy Slim, had to rescue the remains of his decking which was ripped from his home and dragged on to Hove seafront

Soldiers are putting up a dam in Staines to redirect water away from housing into fields

Soldiers are putting up a dam in Staines to redirect water away from housing into fields

Soldiers from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and The Gurkhas   installing Geodesign flood barriers in Staines, which have been brought in from Sweden to help control flood waters

Soldiers from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and The Gurkhas installing Geodesign flood barriers in Staines, which have been brought in from Sweden to help control flood waters

Environment agency staff move a pipe to help manage the flooding situation in Chertsey, southern England. Agencies and emergency services have been inundated with calls for help

Environment agency staff move a pipe to help manage the flooding situation in Chertsey, southern England. Agencies and emergency services have been inundated with calls for help

Dutch engineers install the remaining pumps at Dunball near Bridgewater in Somerset to help clear the Somerset Levels of the flood water

Dutch engineers install the remaining pumps at Dunball near Bridgewater in Somerset to help clear the Somerset Levels of the flood water

These particular pumps are being used to pump the water out of the King Sedgemoor Drain and into the River Parrett

These particular pumps are being used to pump the water out of the King Sedgemoor Drain and into the River Parrett

The Met Office said that winds reached speeds of 80mph in The Mumbles, south Wales and the Isle of Portland, off Dorset, last night, while across southern parts of England, winds reached 65-75mph.

But there will be some respite, as winds and rain are forecast to ease off. The wettest place in Britain last night was Capel Curig, Wales, which was hit with 54.2mm rain, while the rest of flooded England suffered between 20 and 30mm of rain.

A Met Office forecaster predicted clearer skies for tonight, which will cause temperatures dropping to -2C, meaning thousands will wake up to icy conditions on Sunday morning.

But by the afternoon, there will be spells of sunshine, with temperatures reaching up to 10C. From Tuesday, prolonged dry spells will finally appear, after weeks of rain and storms.

Speaking during a visit to flood-hit Chertsey in Surrey, Prime Minister David Cameron said the relief effort in the next 24 hours would be ‘vital’ as river levels were set to rise again.

He told Sky News: ‘This is a vast national effort where we’re bringing all the resources of our country together. What we do in the next 24 hours is vital because tragically the river levels will rise again so every sandbag delivered, every house helped, every flood barrier put in place can make a big difference.

‘Tragically these weather events have been hitting community and after community and doing that week after week.’

The approaching calm weather comes after  two people were killed in the last day. A cruise ship passenger died after 80mph winds whipped up freak waves in the English Channel and a woman was killed when part of a building collapsed on to a car in central London.

The Marco Polo, operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), was heading for its home port of Tilbury, Essex, when it was pummelled by the sto

Beach huts lie shattered and twisted after gale force winds broke down a retaining wall at Hove during storms that lashed the south coast

Beach huts lie shattered and twisted after gale force winds broke down a retaining wall at Hove during storms that lashed the south coast

The Army load one tonne bags of aggregate into the river Itchen upstream from Winchester in an attempt to partially dam the river

The Army load one tonne bags of aggregate into the river Itchen upstream from Winchester in an attempt to partially dam the river

The Environment Agency said it expects levels on slow responding rivers like the Thames, like the Severn, to stay high for a number of days to come

The Environment Agency said it expects levels on slow responding rivers like the Thames, like the Severn, to stay high for a number of days to come

The Army has been drafted in to help build flood defences in Burghfield, Berkshire in a bid to ward off yet more flooding

The Army has been drafted in to help build flood defences in Burghfield, Berkshire in a bid to ward off yet more flooding

At least something good has come out of it! As the rain clears and the sky brightens, a double rainbow appeared over Frating, Essex

At least something good has come out of it! As the rain clears and the sky brightens, a double rainbow appeared over Frating, Essex

Water crashed through a window injuring a number of the 735 passengers, who are mainly British. Apart from the two victims who were airlifted off, a number of passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board.

The vessel, which has been to the Amazon in South America and to the West Indies during its 42-day journey, is due to dock at Tilbury in the early hours of tomorrow.

The company said: ‘CMV regrets to advise that earlier today their cruise ship m/s Marco Polo, en-route to her home port of Tilbury from the Azores, was hit by a freak wave during adverse sea conditions in the south western approaches of the English Channel.

‘One elderly passenger has died and a further passenger has been airlifted for further shore-side medical assistance. Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time.’

A minicab driver has died and a man has been taken to hospital after a building fell on a car in Holborn, central London, the Metropolitan Police said today.

Her passengers, a 25-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, are currently being treated in hospital.

Diners had to be rescued from a seaside cafe after the restaurant was overcome by a strong tidal surge and high winds. Cars parked outside were wrecked after they were washed away

Diners had to be rescued from a seaside cafe after the restaurant was overcome by a strong tidal surge and high winds. Cars parked outside were wrecked after they were washed away

The restaurant windows were shattered and the interior badly damaged by flood water and stones and debris blown up by the high winds on the beach

The restaurant windows were shattered and the interior badly damaged by flood water and stones and debris blown up by the high winds on the beach

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Huge Waves Lash South Coast As Storm Hits

Waves in Salcombe, Devon

Video: Warning Of 14-Metre High Waves

Enlarge

The kitchen of a flooded home in Moorland, Somerset

Sky’s Rhiannon Mills reports from Moorland in Somerset where residents are returning to see the devastation floods have caused to their homes.

Video: Residents Return To Flooded Homes

Southern Britain was on alert as hurricane-force winds and heavy rain combined with high tides threatened more flooding misery.

South Wales and the South West were the first areas to be hit by the storm, which moved over the rest of southern England during the afternoon.

The Coastguard in Brixham, Devon, said waves of up to 46ft (14m) were forecast to hit some areas.

Woman injured as tree falls on car
An elderly woman was injured in Yardley when a tree fell on this car

The extreme weather also puts more pressure on inland areas including the crisis-hit Somerset Levels.

Residents there have endured weeks of rain, with many evacuated over the last 48 hours with help from the Royal Marines.

Some 1,500 military personnel remain on standby in case the storm caused significant damage.

More flooding as storms hit UK
Rough conditions off Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone

An elderly woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries after a tree fell on to the car she was travelling in.

The woman, thought to be in her 70s, suffered a chest injury and a broken leg during the accident in Yardley, Birmingham.

Another female passenger in the car was taken to hospital with neck pain.

More flooding as storms hit UK
Network Rail released this image of the flooded rail line at Bridgwater

The Met Office has issued amber severe weather warnings – meaning “be prepared” – for rain and wind across southern England and Wales until Sunday.

The Environment Agency has two severe flood warnings in place – meaning “danger to life” – in the Somerset Levels.

A third is in place in Chiswell, Dorset, where people were warned that rough seas could breach defences and launch shingle over the promenade.

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More misery in store for the Midlands and south-west

Lives could be in danger in parts of the south-west and in the Midlands, where the Environment Agency has issued nine severe flood warnings – its highest level of alert.

The Cornwall and North Devon coasts are expect to bear the brunt of the weather, along with the River Severn near Gloucester, and 178 more flood warnings have been issued across England and Wales.

Cobra, the government’s emergency committee, has met to address the issue amid growing calls for a permanent solution.

A month of torrential downpours has seen some parts of England suffer the wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago, and the start of February is not looking promising.

Kate Marks, the Environment Agency’s flood risk manager, said: “A low pressure system combining with high tides brings a risk of coastal flooding to many parts of England over the weekend.

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UK flooding: Environment Agency boss Lord Smith engulfed in crisis over his 11 jobs

Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, comes under fire over the floods

armer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys flooded land at his farm in Moorland

Farmer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys flooded land at his farm in Moorland Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Lord Smith’s leadership of the Environment Agencyis in crisis following the flooding gripping parts of Britain.

Sources have accused Lord Smith, a Cabinet minister in Tony Blair’s Labour government, of “keeping his head down” despite parts of the country being submerged for weeks.

Allegations that he is “too distracted” by having too many jobs — in all Lord Smith has 11 paid and unpaid posts — have added to the growing concern in Whitehall.

Although he is due to step down as chairman of the Environment Agency in June, a source said: “There is no way he would get back in even if he wanted to reapply for his post.”

Lord Smith has insisted the agency is doing all it can in the face of the wettest January in history and has pointed out that — unlike the North Sea floods of 1953 when more than 300 people died — lives have been protected through the hard work of his staff.

However, the agency has faced severe criticism, particularly over its alleged failure to dredge rivers on the Somerset Levels. One local MP accused the body of failing to spend its resources on flood defences and instead diverting millions of pounds to bird sanctuaries.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater in Somerset, said: “We’re just sick to death of it [flooding]. They [the Environment Agency] need to dredge these rivers, stop spending money — £31 million — on bird sanctuaries and spend £5 million, that’s all we want, to sort this out.

“What comes first is the humans. I’m afraid the birds will fly off elsewhere.”

The Telegraph can also disclose that the Environment Agency undertook detailed computer modelling on the impact of dredging in 2012, which showed that dredging would have “significantly reduce[d] the duration and depth of flooding” in the worst hit areas.

Residents of the Somerset Levels piled further pressure on the agency after tests showed stagnant flood water had left gardens “awash with unsafe bacteria”.

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Gusts of almost 80mph hit coastal areas, as storms and floods wreak more havoc in Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

Flooding in Somerset

Video: Anger In Somerset Over Flooding

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The latest update from the Sky News weather team.

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Heavy rains, large waves and strong winds wreaked havoc in Britain and Ireland today, cancelling flights and sparking a “significant risk to life” warning.

The worst of the weather was battering the Republic of Ireland but gusts were expected to pick up across Wales and southern parts of England during the day.

The Environment Agency warned “extraordinary measures” may be taken in Gloucestershire today to keep back tidal and river floods.

Large waves caused by high winds and spring tides batter the coastal town of Lahinc
Large waves caused by high winds and spring tides batter Lahinc

It issued severe flood warnings – meaning there is an imminent danger to life – for several parts of the county and the coasts of Cornwall and north Devon.

Further warnings are in place along the length of the River Severn amid fears it could burst its banks. It also warned the risk of flooding could continue into next week.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the water level rises.

King's Island in central Limerick
Flooding in central Limerick, Ireland (pic: Sean Keogh/@Fame_For_Sale)

A statement issued by the agency said: “Gales, large waves and high tides present a danger to life and are expected to result in overtopping of sea walls and defences causing flooding to properties along with disruption to travel.

“The risk of flooding will continue into next week, with the Met Office forecasting further heavy rainfall across southern England and Wales.

“This rain will fall in areas where ground water and river levels are already high, bringing an ongoing risk of flooding.”

Lesser warnings remain in place for many parts of Britain, including the already blighted Somerset Levels and west Wales, where 49 flood warnings and 15 alerts have been issued this morning.

A street in Limerick
Residents in Limerick paddle down the road in a boat. Pic: Anne Sheridan
Customers in the Anchor Bleu pub
The Anchor Bleu in Bosham (pic Stephen Sumner)

Tests for Sky News have found floodwater in Somerset, where the floods have persisted for weeks, contains 60 times the amount of safe bacteria for agricultural water.

In the Republic of Ireland, there were reports of severe flooding in Limerick City with the river Shannon bursting its banks.

With gusts of almost 80mph in coastal areas of the country, several parts were hit by flooding and at one stage 5,500 homes and properties were left without power, 4,000 of them in Ennis, Co Clare.

Flights out of Dublin airport were affected because of the gales force winds. Flights to Manchester, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Cardiff, Paris and Madrid had to be cancelled.

Isabel Webster, reporting from the River Parrett in Burrowbridge, Somerset, tweeted at 8.30am: “High tide in Burrowbridge this morning. It’s just touching the sand bags.”

Minutes later she tweeted: “Water is seeping through giant sandbags onto road beyond at high tide here in Burrowbridge.”

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Sky News

Britain, Ireland lashed by wild weather

Updated: 07:27, Sunday February 2, 2014

Britain, Ireland lashed by wild weather

Heavy rains, large waves and strong winds wreaked havoc in Britain and Ireland today, cancelling flights and sparking a ‘significant risk to life’ warning.

The worst of the weather was battering the Republic of Ireland but gusts were expected to pick up across Wales and southern parts of England during the day.

The Environment Agency warned ‘extraordinary measures’ may be taken in Gloucestershire to keep back tidal and river floods.

It issued severe flood warnings – meaning there is an imminent danger to life – for several parts of the county and the coasts of Cornwall and north Devon.

Further warnings are in place along the length of the River Severn amid fears it could burst its banks. It also warned the risk of flooding could continue into next week.

Flood barriers have already been installed in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Bewdley, Worcestershire, as the water level rises.

A statement issued by the agency said: ‘Gales, large waves and high tides present a danger to life and are expected to result in overtopping of sea walls and defences causing flooding to properties along with disruption to travel.

‘The risk of flooding will continue into next week, with the Met Office forecasting further heavy rainfall across southern England and Wales.

‘This rain will fall in areas where ground water and river levels are already high, bringing an ongoing risk of flooding.’

Lesser warnings remain in place for many parts of Britain, including the already blighted Somerset Levels and west Wales, where 49 flood warnings and 15 alerts have been issued this morning.

Read More Here

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midshipman fishThe low-frequency mating call of the male midshipman fish may be behind the mysterious hum heard in Hythe, England, since August. Some residents say the sound is so bad that it keeps them up at night. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Residents of the southern England town of Hythe, Hampshire, have been complaining about a mysterious humming sound since August. One resident told the BBC that the hum is “a pulsing, vibrating sort of sound, like a turbine….It sounds ridiculous but it does keep you awake all night.” The hum is so bad that some residents have to leave town at night if they want to get some decent sleep. No one knows exactly what’s causing the hum, but one theory is that it’s caused by male midshipman fish trying to attract a mate and intimidate other males.

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“It’s not beyond the realms of possibility,” Ben Wilson of the Scottish Association for Marine Science told the Telegraph. “There are certainly ‘sonic fish’ in the north Atlantic and the approaches to the English Channel.”

 

The sound that midshipman fish make has a very low frequency and a long wavelength, and is able to resonate through the ground and the walls of homes. (Listen to the midshipman fish’s amorous call here.) And because midshipman fish are nocturnal, sleep-deprived residents of Hythe are particularly unlucky.

 

Andy Bass, a Cornell Univeristy biologist who has made recordings of the fish, told NPR in 2009 about his experiences studying midshipman fish.

 

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Are fish having sex keeping part of a city awake? Amorous animals could be behind mystery humming that starts at 10pm and goes on all night

 

  • Residents in Hythe, Southampton, are being kept awake by the noise
  • Some have even moved away from the area and are staying with friends
  • Scientists are studying whether the noise could be caused by fish
  • Midshipman male fish are known to let out drone while searching for mate

By Daily Mail Reporter

 

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Amorous fish could be responsible for a mysterious humming noise keeping people awake at night.

Residents in a part of Southampton, Hamsphire, have been struggling to get to sleep because of the puzzling noise, which starts at 10pm and drones on all night.

Some people have even moved away from the affected area around Hythe and are sleeping on friends’ sofas to escape the nightmare.


Midshipman fish are believed to be responsible for a humming noise which is keeping residents in a part of Southampton awake at night

Midshipman fish are believed to be responsible for a humming noise keeping residents in a part of Southampton awake at night

 

The sound heard on Southampton Water (pictured) is said to be similar to the so-called West Seattle Hum which plagued parts of the US city this time last year

The sound heard on Southampton Water (pictured) is said to be similar to the so-called West Seattle Hum which plagued parts of the US city this time last year

 

Now scientists are studying whether the noise could be being caused by fish having sex in an estuary nearby.

Midshipman male fish let out a distinctive drone to let females know they are searching for a mate.

The noise can go on for hours and often increases in volume as competing males attempt to out-hum each other.

 

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