House evacuations as Storm Desmond batters Britain

Violent winds and torrential rain have cause flooding and widespread disruption across parts of the country.

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    Storm Desmond brought flooding rains and strong winds to parts of the UK [AFP]
    Storm Desmond brought flooding rains and strong winds to parts of the UK [AFP]

    Authorities in the UK have helped evacuated people from their homes as violent winds and torrential rain caused chaos across parts of the country.

    Storm Desmond, the fourth storm to hit Britain in the last year, caused flash flooding in parts of Cumbria, in north-west England, on Saturday as police in the area declared a "major incident".

    The village of Shap had 192mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 2100 GMT on Saturday. This is one of the wettest parts of the UK but that total is not far from the average December rainfall of 207mm.

    Nearby, there was an unconfirmed report of even heavier rain, with Honister reporting 341mm in the same length of time.

    Meanwhile, entire streets in Appleby-in-Westmorland were submerged, with water levels being over one-metre deep in places.

    Elsewhere, Capel Curig, which lies in the heart of Snowdonia, north Wales, recorded 145mm of rain, while Eskdalemuir, in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, had 131mm.

    Much of this rain has fallen over higher ground so runoff water from the mountains will remain an issue. The danger is heightened by the threat of mudslides as further rain comes down on the wet slopes.

    There are currently 192 flood warnings in force across England, Scotland and Wales, 56 of which are severe, meaning there could be a danger to life. Of those severe warnings, 54 apply to northwest England.

    Drier weather is expected over the next few days, but there will be some rain at times. Any subsequent rain will fall on already saturated ground so the flooding will remain a concern for some time.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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