Changing weather claims victims

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The Independent Online
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Britain was hit by biblical- style catastrophes and plagues as it sweated and shivered its way through the extremes of temperature at the weekend.

Wales was the worst hit, with Rhyl in Clwyd flooded yesterday after being hit by storms and torrential rain. In Pembrokeshire, where two men were hit by lightning.

A bus conductor was hit by lightning in a garage at Pembroke Docks and an oil refinery worker was struck when he answered the telephone in Maiden Wells.

The heatwave brought its own problems, with plagues of pests drawn by the high temperatures. Marine visitors included weaver fish, which cause painful stings when trodden on, 13-foot sunfish which alarm bathers by a close resemblance to Jaws, and poisonous Portuguese man o' war jellyfish.

One victim was four-year- old Barney Linsen, who stepped on a weaver fish lying buried on the beach in Bournemouth on Saturday.

Elsewhere, a blanket of 'thunderflies' - also known as thrips - buzzed in from France to terrorise the south of England, feasting on crops and settling in the hair of the unwary to cause itching.

Meanwhile, in Oxford a 21- year-old man drowned while trying to cool off by swimming in the Thames Conservancy pit near Pear Tree roundabout.