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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
Storms batter Cornish coastline
Part of the harbour wall at Penzance collapsed
Storms have battered Cornwall's south coast smashing down sea walls and flooding homes.

Winds of up to 80mph closed the seaside promenade in Penzance after huge waves damaged the town's sea wall.

Hundreds of passengers on two broken- down Virgin trains were stranded for three hours on the Devon coast line.

The sea also came up over the harbour walls in Looe, throwing rocks on to the harbour front and part of the sea wall at Newlyn in Cornwall collapsed.

Nearly 100 homes were also flooded on Wednesday at Looe and Kingsand with trains stopped by trees on the line.

An elderly resident is evacuated at Looe
An elderly resident is evacuated at Looe
Buses replaced trains between Plymouth and Penzance.

The 1005 Glasgow to Penzance and 1625 Plymouth to York services both cut out on a coastal section of track at Dawlish in Devon.

The line was blocked in both directions, causing long delays in and out of the region.

Virgin Trains said the drivers had reported experiencing "some of the worst conditions they could remember".

The Penzance-bound passengers were eventually transferred to another train, and the York-bound service was pulled into Exeter by another train.

Emergency services dealt with a number of fallen trees, and power cables brought down by the storm-force winds.

Storm damage includes:

  • Harbour wall washed away at Lamorna Cove in Cornwall

  • Torquay seafront closed

  • Slapton coast road in south Devon closed.

Surfers defied coastguards' warnings at Mevagissey, Porthleven on the Lizard Peninsula and at Penzance.

A Falmouth coastguards spokesman said that while the surf on the north coast was negligible, waves on the south coast were "monstrous".

He said: "Inexperienced surfers are dicing with death if they go out in these conditions.

Waves dwarf people and cars at Porthleven
"It may seem tempting with large waves, but it is reckless in the extreme."

Brittany Ferries' 1600 service from Plymouth to Santander in northern Spain was cancelled because of the stormy conditions.

The storm conditions also affected ferry service to the Isles of Scilly.

A spokesman for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company said it did not look as though there would be a service on Thursday either.

Watch storm footage as coastal defences are battered



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