Coastal flooding: will the residents of Fairbourne become Britain's first climate refugees?

The villagers of Fairbourne, North Wales, have been dubbed Britain’s first “climate refugees”. As sea levels rise they won’t be the last, but are authorities prepared?

The worst known disaster to hit the British coast took place in 1607, when a surge of water killed an estimated 2,000 people in settlements around the Bristol Channel. It may have caused greater loss of life than any other single natural event in our history. Tens of thousands of people died across the north Norfolk coast, the Netherlands and Belgium in each of three separate events in 1099, 1421 and1446. The inconvenient truth is we’re an island nation set in a stormy sea, and in low-lying areas, flooding is a fact of life.

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