Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Storms destroy Porthcothan Bay rock arch formation at Cornwall beach

The landmark arches have been demolished by high tides and 70mph winds
  • @heatheranne9

Fierce storms have broken down flood defence systems, battered coastal towns and destroyed part of a centuries-old landmark rock formation in Cornwall.

The natural rock formation in Porthcothan Bay, Newquay was battered by 30ft waves and 70mph winds, causing most of the doughnut-shaped archway to break away into the sea.

Local resident Tamsin Swindells told the Western Morning News the beach “just won’t be the same without it”, adding that the area “looked like a demolition site” now.  

The damage came as some of the worst winter storms to hit Britain in 20 years shattered various harbours and coastal areas.

More flooding is expected across the country today and tomorrow as the west coast counted its losses following the arrival of "Winter Storm Hercules", the system which has left behind a record-breaking deep freeze in the US.

Last night a flood siren warning of extreme danger to people and property was sounded in Dorset, as gales and tidal surges battered the coast.

The Environment Agency raised the alarm after its sea defences were breached at Chiswell Beach in Portland last night, following on from a severe flood warning in the area.

Read more:

Environment Secretary urged to come clean on how cuts will hit UK's flood defences  

Owen Paterson's climate change scepticism 'has blinded him to future flooding risks'