Fri, November 20, 2009
World > Europe

About 200 people rescued from flood-hit area in N England

2009-11-20 10:48:53 GMT2009-11-20 18:48:53 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The flooded River Derwent breaks its banks and floods properties in Cockermouth in Cumbria. Rescuers were working to evacuate about 200 people by helicopter from a town after storms triggered flooding across parts of the country.(AFP Photo)

Two firefighters wade through flood water in Keswick ,northern England, November 19, 2009. Flood warnings were issued across Scotland, northern England and Wales on Thursday as forecasters predicted further heavy downpours in the next few days.(AFP Photo)

LONDON, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- About 200 people have been rescued by the British emergency services from the town of Cockermouth in northern England as a serious flood hit the area, the BBC reported on Friday.

British Royal Air Force helicopters have airlifted at least 50 to safety, with some forced to break through the roofs of their houses. And the British Environment Agency said the situation in the area was "very serious."

Worst hit have been the towns of Cockermouth and Keswick, in England's picturesque Lake District and more than 8 million people visit the Lake District National Park every year.

Local police said water levels in Cockermouth center had reached more than 2.5 meters and one police officer was missing after a bridge collapsed over a flooded river in Workington.

The Environment Agency has in place four severe flood warnings -- all in Cumbria -- and 28 flood warnings in the Midlands, Wales and northeast and northwest England.

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