Seven people have died and more than 1700 homes and businesses have been flooded in England since the beginning of the Christmas period, with 300 properties flooded since the New Year.

High winds over Christmas also left 250,000 homes without power, with some families waiting days for the electricity to be restored.

Violent storms and gale force winds caused dramatic waves to lash Porthcawl pier in south Wales. Some 140 properties have been flooded in the country.

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Large parts of the historic seafront at Aberystwyth have been turned to rubble and threaten to destroy a popular landmark.

The resort's classic Victorian promenade, and the Welsh coast, were rocked again by waves and torrents of driving rain.

Large amounts of sea shingle littered the popular public promenade and bins, railings and bits of masonry were scattered across the usually pristine seafront.

Worst hit has been its Victorian public shelter, a listed building, which partially slid down onto the beach as parts of the promenade fell into the sea.

Students in halls of residence along the seafront had already been evacuated in preparation for more morning devastation at high tide.

A handful of businesses and hotels were also preparing to evacuate staff. Richard Griffiths, who runs Richmond Hotel, said: "The seafront looks like a bomb has hit it today. It's devastated."

In Scotland, the unrelenting downpours and gales which have battered the country since last week are expected to "ease off" by Thursday, according to the Met Office.

Rain is still expected today and tomorrow, however there are no weather warnings for the coming days.