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150 people rescued from floods around Aberystwyth

Flood water has caused chaos in caravan parks and local villages Photo: ITV News Wales

A major rescue operation is continuing in Ceredigion this afternoon, after severe flooding around Aberystwyth. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service estimate that more than 100 people have been rescued or led to safety. It's thought that three people have been treated for minor injuries, but there's no suggestion that anyone has been more seriously hurt, or killed.

The Environment Agency says that around five inches of rain fell within 24 hours, and the River Lery overtopped its banks.

This footage from an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter shows the first two holidaymakers being airlifted from Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, on the side of the River Lery, just before 6am this morning.

Dave Reynolds from the RNLI describes the increasing amounts of debris found by the lifeboat crew when they arrived atthe caravan site this morning. Four members of the crew had to winched to safety themselves because of the dangerous conditions.

The fire service, police, ambulance, RNLI, coastguard, RNLI lifeboat and Flood Rescue Team have been involved in a huge multi-agency rescue effort.

The villages of Talybont, Dol-y-Bont and Borth, north of Aberystwyth, have been worst affected by the flood waters, and the Mill House Caravan Park. It's believed many people are sheltering on the first floor of their homes to escape the water. The RNLI Flood Rescue Team have also been deployed to evacuate people from static caravans at Aberystwyth Holiday Village, just to the south of the town centre.

Water flooded in people's homes several inches deep Credit: ITV News Wales

A number of people taken to safety have been given shelter at Borth Lifeboat Station. Emergency services say their main concerns arenow local people and onlookers getting too close to flood water. The Aberystwyth lifeboat has also been launched into the harbour to act as "goalkeepers" in case anyone gets washed down the river. Dyfed-Powys Police have asked people to avoid travelling on roads in the Aberystwyth area unless absolutely necessary. A wide number of roads remain closed in the area.

This picture shows the extending of the flooding in the area north of Aberystwyth Credit: Viewer's picture / Alan Cole

The First Minister is very concerned about the flooding in mid and west Wales. He has been receiving updates throughout the day on the situation. The First Minister would like to thank emergency services and all those involved in the rescue operation.

– Welsh Government spokeswoman

This has been a very impressive operation in horrific weather conditions and with unprecedented flood levels. Those involved in the rescue mission at thecaravan parks in Llandre have acted quickly and with courage. Wales Office are in contact with the teams involved and I would like to offer them my support and thanks for the way in which they have come to the aid of all the residents and holiday makers affected, and kept disruption to a minimum. I believe the situation is under control. In particular, I'd like to thank the Royal Air Force Sea King helicopters, Mid West and West Wales Fire Rescue Service, the lifeboat crewsand fire service boats currently at Riverside, for their efforts. I hope that everyone affected in the area is safe and unharmed.

– Cheryl Gillan MP, Welsh Secretary

Environment Agency Wales says most rivers have now peaked, but it is concerned about parts of the Rheidol, which reaches the sea at Aberystwyth, and is still rising. Flood water has already caused a huge amount of damageto local villages and private property. The priority at the moment remains securing the safety of people living nearby, before a clean-up operation can begin.

An overturned bench shows the impact of the water in the village of Talybont Credit: Viewer's picture / Ieuan Dennis

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