Climate change report says more devastating floods coming to UK without action

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More floods like those which hit South Yorkshire last year will devastate communities without immediate action on climate change, researchers say.

A major new Red Cross report on climate change says Britain is in danger of facing more floods like those which hit South Yorkshire 12 months ago.

The report reveals that 83% of all natural disasters worldwide in the last decade were caused by climate-related floods, storms and heatwaves.

There were 2,850 disasters triggered by natural hazards, of which 2,355 were climate and weather related.

Have you been the victim of a natural disaster? Email [email protected] to tell your story

Flood water surrounded Severn Stoke in Worcestershire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis this year
(Image: PA)

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Researchers for the World Disasters Report, which comes out every two years, found there were 1298 floods and 589 severe storms.

Globally, these disasters killed more than 410,000 people and affected a staggering 1.7 billion people.

In previous decades, there was a higher proportion of damage caused by volcanoes and earthquakes.

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Members of the Fire and Rescue service work in the village of Fishlake near Doncaster, northern England, on November 11, 2019 following heavy rain and the River Don bursting its banks
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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The Red Cross has found that since the start of Covid-19, more than 100 disasters linked to climate change have occurred, with 50 million people affected.

Right now, extreme storms are impacting people in Vietnam and Central America.

While much of the Red Cross focus is on communities most vulnerable to climate change in countries like Bangladesh, it is also devoting increasing resources to ramp up efforts to prevent natural disasters in the UK.

A warning sign is surrounded by water as floodwaters persist in the centre of Worcester City after the River Severn burst its banks on February 27, 2020 in Worcester
(Image: Getty Images)

The UK is at risk of seeing more scenes like this one in Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, in the aftermath of Storm Dennis
(Image: PA)

The charity was at the forefront of the emergency response after heavy downpours caused rivers in South Yorkshire to burst their banks in November last year.

Since that happened, workers trained for emergencies are helping prepare for more floods with expertise and sandbag storage.

Mike Adamson, CEO at the British Red Cross, said: “The British Red Cross is working with communities in the UK and across the world, right now, to build resilient communities, both today and in the future.

"But we can’t do this alone.

“Ahead of COP26, the international community must scale up adaptation action now, including more investment in disaster risk reduction and being better prepared.”

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