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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Flat fire after lightning strike
Woman walks through rain in central London
Torrential rain poured down in London at about noon
A block of flats in south London has been set on fire after a suspected lightning strike hit the roof as storms swept across the city.

Eight fire engines and 40 firefighters tackled the blaze in Nantes Close, Wandsworth, which was described as "major" by a fire service spokesman.

During the storms London Fire Brigade took 1,600 calls concerning flooding. It normally receives 700 calls per day.

Most of the calls were in the Sutton, Croydon and Wallington areas.

Tube disruptions

A casualty ward at St Helier Hospital in Sutton had been closed as a result of flooding, but reopened in the early evening.

And at least three Tube stations were closed because of flooding.

The BBC Weather Centre said torrential rain affecting southern regions had now eased, with central parts of England and Wales now threatened with heavy rain.

Motorists have been advised by police not to travel into Wandsworth, which has been badly affected by flooding.

Tree over Beaumont Mews

First Great Western train services between Oxford and London Paddington have also been disrupted.

Circle Line trains were not stopping at Paddington due to flooding, while Turnham Green (District Line), Tooting Broadway (Northern Line) and Gants Hill (Central Line) were also closed due to the heavy rainfall.

On the roads, part of a tree on the corner of Marylebone High Street and Beaumont Mews, north west London was brought down during heavy rain, with traffic blocked from Beaumont Mews.

Play between England and India in the second day of the first test match at Lord's in St John's Wood, north London, was also delayed because of the rain.

More wet weather is expected over the weekend.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Flash floods sweep London



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