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MOSCOW, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Russians have been warned to stay away from Britain as flood danger grows, executive director of Russia's Association of Tour Operators Maya Lomidze told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“It is the low tourist season in Great Britain so there are few travelers from Russia,” she noted, though there were groups in London.
Russian authorities have recommended that tourists stay away from flooded regions until the disaster is over. "Russian Tourism Agency and the Russian embassy in Great Britain inform Russian tourists staying in Great Britain or those about to travel there that the scale of the natural disaster is growing," a website announcement said on Thursday.
"Hurricane winds and heavy rain have triggered massive floods in several British regions. Railway traffic is disrupted on several lines. Hundreds of houses are flooded. Several casualties are reported,” the warning said.
Officials said the flooded area was growing in size, noting inundation engulfing the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Devon, Somerset and large parts of Wales.
Floods had spread to several London districts and the water level in the Thames and other British rivers was expected to rise in the coming days. Floods were also probable in other counties, Russian authorities said.
Many rivers including the Thames have burst their banks due to rain across southern England for the second month. Flooding has not reached central London but city authorities are preparing for a possible emergency, officials reported.
Around 144,000 Russian tourists visited Britain in the first nine months of 2013, 12% more than in the same period of 2012.