'Beast from the East' - Updates for Wednesday 28th February

Parts of Cumbria and the south of Scotland are feeling the effects of the 'Beast from the East', with snow and freezing temperatures hitting the region overnight.

Live updates

NHS services affected by severe weather

Patients have been advised by hospitals across the region not to travel in bad weather if they have appointments to get to, with many hospitals cancelling or postponing non-urgent appointments and procedures.

It comes after the Beast from the East brought a blanket of snow to the region, causing disruption to travel.

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Travel conditions have been so hazardous that staff at North Cumbrian hospitals with 4x4 vehicles were asked to help others to get into work safely.

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And mountain rescue teams were also called out to assist staff making visits to patients in Cumbria.

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Beast from the East closes roads across the region

Credit: Cumbria Roads Police

The Beast from the East has problems on roads across the Border region.

Many roads in Cumbria are closed as vehicles are becoming stranded, while others are said to be under hazardous conditions.

Two lanes blocked on the M6 Northbound between Kendal and Tebay. Traffic is queueing and there are long delays on the road due to stranded vehicles.

There are also reports of an accident on the M6 Southbound between J45 and J44 (Carlisle North).

Some roads in parts of the south of Scotland are also affected.

Weather: HIGHEST SNOW ALERT

The Met Office have issued their highest ever warning for SNOW.

The area takes in northern parts of the Scottish Borders.

Weather warning

A RED WARNING means:

Extreme weather is expected.

You should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather.

Widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely.

You must avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.

Here's the detail:

Snow showers already affecting the area will become heavier and more prolonged later on Wednesday afternoon and at times through the evening and overnight period, with 5 cm of snow falling within an hour in some places and lying snow reaching 20-30 cm and possibly 40 cm in a few places by mid morning on Thursday.

Strong easterly winds will lead to significant drifting of lying snow.

– Met Office

Earthquake shakes west Cumbria

Credit: British Geological Survey

An earthquake with a 3.2 magnitude was felt in west Cumbria this morning.

It struck at 7.33am at Mosser, near Cockermouth, according to the British Geological Survey.

People living in Maryport, Whitehaven and Cockermouth are reporting they felt the earthquake.

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Police warn 'avoid travelling' in Cumbria

Credit: Cumbria Police

Police are urging the public to avoid travelling if not necessary this morning, following heavy snowfall in Cumbria.

Emergency services are working together to deliver a coordinated response to the adverse weather conditions.

“Our advice is simple, please consider whether your journey is essential. If not, then take the safe option and avoid travelling until the weather conditions improve."

– Superintendent Justin Bibby
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