UK government to send more troops to tackle floods | News | DW | 27.12.2015
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UK government to send more troops to tackle floods

Britain's government has said it would send more troops to help citizens deal with "unprecendented" flooding in northern England and Wales. The disaster has forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.

Following a meeting with the emergency COBRA committee, Prime Minister David Cameron said he was sending 200 extra military personnel to help out 300 other soldiers who were already involved in the rescue operations on the ground during the holiday season floods.

Sunday's rains were expected to be less severe than on Saturday, when Storm Eva caused significant damage.

Another 1,000 soldiers were being kept on standby, Cameron said. According to Environment Minister Elizabeth Truss, some rivers had spilt over their banks more than ever before. Speaking to the BBC, Truss said the priority was to save lives.

Watch video 01:28

Floods in Britain prompt emergency talks

There were no reports of anyone having died in the disaster as yet.

About 3,500 properties in York were at risk of flooding and special shelters had been set up for residents fleeing their homes, the AFP news agency reported. York is one of Britain's most visited tourist attractions. The City of York Council tweeted this message:

The council also asked residents to "not travel to, or in, York unless absolutely necessary." Officials also warned residents against walking in flood waters.

Hundreds of people were also evacuated in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Parts of Leeds and Manchester were also affected by the flooding. More than 6,000 homes in Greater Manchester and Lancashire were left without electricity due to damage by flood waters.

The disaster this week comes shortly after Cumbria in northern England was hit by Storm Desmond. UK astronaut Tim Peake tweeted this picture of northern England from the International Space Station (ISS).

Some 335 additional flood alerts have been declared for other parts of England, Scotland and Wales.

mg/se (dpa, AFP, AP)

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