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Rare supertides threaten to flood parts of UK

Supertides that occur only once every 18 years threaten to flood parts of the UK, the Environment Agency has warned.

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull exerted by the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun. A particular alignment of the sun, moon and earth that happens every 18 years causes a massive gravitational pull on the sea, and this results in larger-than-normal spring tides, or ‘supertides’.

The Environment Agency issued 10 flood warnings and 44 alerts across the country and urged the public to check the risk to their local area.

‘Localised disruption to travel and some flooding of low-lying land and individual properties is possible,’ a spokesman said.

‘We urge people to take care near coastal paths and promenades and not to drive through flood water.

‘The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely alongside the Met Office and will issue further flood updates and warnings if required.’

Lou Collins