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Environment Agency issues ‘danger to life’ warnings in coastal areas

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The Environment Agency has warned that severe weather poses a serious “danger to life” in some coastal areas, as extreme conditions continue to overwhelm the UK.

Strong winds continue to hit many parts of the coastline, with high tides meaning the threat to life is much more significant. Large waves began in the early hours of Friday morning.

In a statement on its website, the Environment Agency said, “The Environment Agency has (as of 1600 Thursday) issued 12 severe flood warnings for coastal communities as strong winds combine with high tides and large waves from the early hours of [Friday].”

A severe warning is the highest category of warning, and the Environment Agency said that the categorisation represents a significant threat to life and property at 12 coastal locations across the south-west, including many parts of Cornwall and Devon.

There have already been a number of incidents over the past few weeks where individuals have disappeared and feared to have been swept to sea. The Environment Agency warned people to stay away from shorelines.

Pete Fox, head of strategy at the Environment Agency, said, “We are expecting flooding along the west and south coasts of England and Wales, due to a combination of strong winds, large waves and high tides, from the early hours of Friday and into the weekend.

“Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.”

It is also predicted that further rain across many other parts of the UK mean that rivers are still at risk of bursting their banks and saturated ground could lead to surface flooding.

Fox added, “People should check the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood outlook, and sign up to receive free flood warnings.”

Further reading:

UK braced for further ‘exceptional weather’

New Year to be welcomed by heavy rainfall and strong gales in the UK

Environment Agency job cuts ‘shortsighted’ in the face of future flooding

Further storms predicted into new year as UK clean-up operations continues

Power companies to triple compensation payouts after storms

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