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Climate change is causing intense flooding, environment agency warns

Flooding in the Worcestershire town of Bewdley as the level of the River Severn rises after recent heavy rainfall. Credit: PA

Intense flooding will become more frequent in the UK due to climate change, the Environment Agency warned on Thursday.

Britain has suffered a pattern of severe flooding over the past decade linked to an increase in extreme weather events, the EA said.

Met Office records show that there have been 17 record-breaking rainfall months or seasons since 1910 - but that nine of them have occurred since 2000.

At the same time as extreme weather is on the increase, sea levels are rising because of climate change, increasing the risk of coastal flooding and storm surges.

The EA issued the warning as it launched a flood action campaign aimed at younger people.

A flooding warning sign on the M80 in Scotland. Credit: PA

Research shows that people aged 18 to 34 years old are least likely to perceive flood risk in their area, know how to protect their homes or where to get information from.

They are also at the highest risk of death in floods as they are less likely to perceive the risks flooding poses to their lives.

The campaign is targeting younger people through social media and online advertising to encourage them to check their flood risk on the official Government site, Gov.uk, sign up for free warnings and be prepared to take action when flooding hits.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: "Climate change is likely to mean more frequent and intense flooding.

"Floods destroy - lives, livelihoods, and property.

"Our flood defences reduce the risk of flooding, and our flood warnings help keep communities safe when it threatens.

"But we can never entirely eliminate the risk of flooding. Checking your flood risk is the first step to protecting yourself, your loved ones and your home."