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Saturday 24 February 2018

Woman missing in landslide as flooding and heavy snow hit Britain

The collapsed 'Veronica' flats on Sandplace Road, East Looe, Cornwall, where one of the occupants is unaccounted for.
The collapsed 'Veronica' flats on Sandplace Road, East Looe, Cornwall, where one of the occupants is unaccounted for.

A woman is missing after her house collapsed in landslide following heavy rain in Cornwall as severe weather blights Britain.

Police believe that Susan Norman, who is in her 60s, is trapped in the property, but it is too dangerous for search teams to enter.

The news came as weather caused chaos with hundreds of schools shut and transport was disrupted, and forecasters warned it could be the coldest March for 50 years.

Emergency services saw an early surge in weather-related call-outs as some parts of the country were hit by blizzard conditions. Government agencies issued a string of warnings urging the public to take care on the roads.

Schools across Britain were closing their doors, with almost 200 shut in North Wales alone.

It is not yet clear whether Mrs Norman is trapped within the flats or has gone elsewhere and not come forward to the authorities.

Specialist fire teams are at the scene in Sandplace Road, Looe, east Cornwall, but they have to stabilise the building, which is split into flats, before they can enter to search. The operation could take some time, it was warned.

As the country experienced a north-south divide, parts of Devon and Cornwall had already seen just over two inches (6cm) of rain by this morning, and another inch is forecast to fall today.

The snow has already settled, with up to 16 inches expected in some areas of the North and the blanket of white due to reach the South East by tomorrow morning.

Leeds Bradford Airport was closed along with a number of schools across the Bradford and Huddersfield areas while in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, dozens of schools, colleges and nurseries were closed.

Adverse weather closed several roads in the county, mainly in the north.

The Environment Agency has issued 15 flood warnings for the sodden South West.

Met Office forecaster Andrew Sibley said: “There is going to be some significant disruption from both the snow and the rain.”

More than 28,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland were without power and the George Best City Airport said its runway was closed, while Belfast International Airport warned that the weather could cause some disruption to flights.

A number of roads had been closed, as had some schools, and the weather threatens tonight’s World Cup clash against Russia.

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