1,300 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean by the Italian Coast Guard


Houses on the edge of the cliffs have been evacuated for fear they could collapse into the sea during a storm surge

Frightened residents had to be evacuated from their homes on the cliff’s edge overnight, fearing their homes could collapse into the sea during a storm surge. At least five people were ordered to evacuate their homes as winds of 80km/h and a 3.7m high tide threatened to erode plots of land on a small sandy cliff and gardens slid into the sea. The seaside village of 3,000 has suffered from severe coastal erosion in recent years, with a number of properties abandoned as the cliffs slipped away. Several residents took all their belongings from their homes last night and were taken to a community center. Some may now need to be permanently relocated. The Coast Guard also revealed that cliff erosion had caused a new 10ft plunge from the beach into the sea, meaning the local lifeboat can no longer be launched. Coastguards were back out there at 6.30am this morning anxiously awaiting the next high tide which was due at 9am today (March 10). Dan Hurd, 41, is the Hemsby lifeboat helmsman who was out last night and monitoring the situation this morning. He said: “It’s a bloody mess down there right now. If you see the sea now, you wouldn’t believe it.” Many people are upset, they had to vacate their properties last night and some left their belongings – fully furnished houses, groceries in the cupboard, everything there. “One refused to leave, but we were able to persuade them to go to a hotel.” “I find it disgusting that the government hasn’t signed any measures that could help prevent this.” Among the homes threatened is that of retired Grenadier Guards Lance Martin, 65, who in 2018 relocated his £95,000 detached property 10.5 meters from the cliff to prevent it from plunging into the sea. When he bought the home in 2017, he was told in an environmental impact study that he was 30-40 years before the cliff edge reached his home until the 2018 Beast from the East storm ate 100 feet from his back yard. He was evacuated last night and stayed in Lowestoft to await the storm. Pictures of his property show angry waves as he weaves his way through his back garden, which is now just a few feet deep. Lance’s street, The Marrams, at the edge of the cliff is now in danger of being washed away by the tide. Dan fears that this road will have to be closed permanently when the next flood eats away m ore sand from under the asphalt. This would mean that at least seven residents at the end of this street would have to be permanently relocated. Their homes are being demolished, according to Dan, because the road is their last point of access and emergency services are unable to reach them. A telegraph pole also fell into the sea last night after being shut down during the last storm two weeks ago. Dan added that if the weather continued to erode that stretch of coast, the lifeboat and crew would have to be moved further up the coast permanently. Hemsby residents have struggled to build a rock wall to stop erosion even further. Planning permission was due to be granted a year ago, but the government’s Marine Management Organization has yet to approve the plans. One of them is Ian Brennan, Chairman of Save Hemsby Coastline. Ian, 63, said: “We are delighted with the response from Hemsby Council in opening the council house to evacuees last night – they are now environmental refugees. “It’s good that they have a plan and can help vulnerable people, but the best thing about the plan is not to be vulnerable at all and to prevent houses from falling over the cliff edge. “I feel very disappointed in Great Yarmouth Borough Council. There is a lot of talk, but still no planning permission for the rock berm.”

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