Tide-damaged Norfolk coast cliffs resemble 'war zone'

Collapsed cliffs Image copyright Bacton Coastguard/Pete Revell
Image caption Cliffs have collapsed after high winds battered the coast on Tuesday

A safety warning has been issued after high tides and heavy rain left parts of the coastline looking "like a war zone".

Stretches of cliffs up to 500ft long have collapsed as a result of the bad weather which has battered the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coast in recent days.

Bacton Coastguard said the coast between Trimingham and Overstrand in Norfolk had been the worst affected.

It advised staying away from cliff edges and calling 999 in an emergency.

More than a dozen flood warnings were in place in the three counties on Tuesday ahead of expected high tides and strong winds.

Just three alerts remained in force by 13:00 GMT on Wednesday - all related to the Norfolk Broads.

Image copyright Bacton Coastguard/Pete Revell
Image caption Bacton Coastguard posted pictures of collapsed cliffs at near Overstrand and Ostend on its Facebook page

Bacton Coastguard rescue officer Pete Revell said two cliff falls were reported on Sunday and Tuesday, but the coastguard had struggled to find them "because there had been so many".

"At Ostend it was a bit like a war zone. We were having a job to walk along the beach because of all the bits that had come down from the cliffs," he said.

The majority of cliffs around the Norfolk coast were currently unstable, he said, because of their sand-and-clay constitution.

"When we get lots of rain the cliff tops are really soft and with high tides the bottoms get really soft as well," he added.

Mr Revell said a particular danger was walkers being stranded by unexpected rock falls cutting off entry and exit routes through the cliffs.

The high tides caused the closure of the coastal road in Walcott on Tuesday, while further down the coast the waters rose at Felixstowe Ferry as the River Deben broke its banks.

Image copyright Tim Garrett-Moore
Image caption The River Deben broke its banks at Felixstowe Ferry

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