Volume. 11924
Two killed as storm batters Britain
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Britain99a.jpgTwo people were killed overnight and thousands of homes were without power on Saturday as a new winter storm hammered Britain.
After the wettest start to the year for 250 years, the Met Office national weather service said a “multi-pronged attack” of wind, rain and snow was sweeping the country.
In central London, police said a woman died and a man was taken to hospital after a building collapsed onto their car in Holborn, not far from the West End theatre district.
Out on the English Channel, high winds sent a “freak wave” smashing through a window of a cruise ship causing the death of an 85-year-old man, the ship's operator said.
About 17,000 people remained without power in Wales following an earlier storm on Wednesday when hurricane-force gales left one person dead.
More than 2,000 army, navy and air force personnel have now been deployed across Britain to help flood-hit communities, and 70 percent of England's fire and rescue services are working on the flood and storm effort.
A total of 22 severe flood alerts indicating a risk to life are in place, mostly in the southeast of England
More than 5,800 properties have been flooded since early December while huge swathes of farmland have been inundated.
And communities along the swollen River Thames were braced for more damage after it was expected to reach its highest level in 60 years over the weekend.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will seek financial aid from the European Union to cope with the floods, despite his promises to renegotiate London's relationship with Brussels and hold an in-out referendum.
Britain has already borrowed eight “very high volume pumps” from the Dutch government and several Dutch engineers are helping in Somerset, a spokeswoman for the environment ministry said.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned Britain's fragile recovery from recession would be affected as the bad weather hits farming and transport.
(Source: AFP)

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