| ||Chaos as autumn hits Britain
29 Oct 2002
Britain was in a continuing state of mass chaos today after autumn struck in locations across the country during the weekend. Over the last two days trains have been cancelled, power lines have collapsed and "millions" old people have remarked how cold it is following freak weather conditions identified by the Met Office as "rain and a bit of wind".
The emergency services have been struggling to cope. "We were completely unprepared for this," said a harassed fire officer in Southampton. "It was exactly the same last year, and the year before that. Every year we get bad weather like this and every year it surprises us. I wish we could have some sort of warning."
All around the country people are counting the cost of the surprise weather attack. In Dorset, a man is recovering in hospital after "almost being blown over" by a sudden gust of wind, while a North Wales woman lost her entire collection of pink knickers after they were blown off her washing line.
So serious are the problems that the government is considering declaring a state of emergency in East Anglia and Ministry of Defence sources tell us that an application has already been sent to George W Bush for a "war on bad weather". Tony Blair is expected to make a statement in the Commons tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in Italy, a volcano erupted.
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