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Heavy rain triggers floods and landslides in parts of UK

flood-landslide-uk-december-2020

Floods and landslides hit parts of the UK over the weekend after more than half a month's worth of rain fell in a period of 24 hours– up to 138 mm (5.4 inches) of rain was recorded in Devon, which usually sees up to 250 mm (9.8 inches) of rain for the month of December. 

On Friday, December 18, rainwaters breached flood defenses Newbridge on Usk in Wales, prompting the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service to check around 50 caravans at The Eden Project.

A spokesperson confirmed that the site closed after "significant flooding" and landslides occurred overnight. High volumes of rainwater were reported to have triggered landslips at the former quarry.

The crews helped 18 people leave the area, while some had to be displaced due to hazards posed by the harsh weather.

On Saturday, December 19, residents in Wattstown, Rhondda Valley, were warned to stay away from the area as there were fears of a landslip. 

"While the landslip does not pose any risk to properties, there remains the possibility for further movement at the site and it is imperative that members of the public continue to stay away," a spokesman stated.

"The council has been in urgent discussions with the Welsh government following the event and options are now being considered for securing the site."

The floods and landslides occurred as parts of the country received more than half a month's worth of rain in just one day. In Whitebarrow, Devon, up to 138 mm (5.4 inches) of rain fell in a 24 hour period.

In Carmarthenshire, southwestern Wales, a total of 98 mm (3.8 inches) of rain fell, which was described by Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan as "well over what we would expect."

"For those upland areas we generally see around 200 to 250 mm (7.9 to 9.8 inches) rain expected across the whole of December," said Morgan.

"So we saw roughly half a month's worth of rain falling in a day in those locations and even at lower levels we saw quite widely 30 to 50 mm (1.2 to 2 inches) of rain."

On Sunday, several flood warnings and alerts remained in force for parts of south Wales and southwest England. 

Sky News weather producer Chris England forecasts prolonged rain across most parts from the South West on Monday, December 21, "with clearer skies and a few showers following, but northwest Scotland probably won't see more than a scattering of showers."

Featured image credit: Pirate FM/YouTube

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