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British military helping shore up damaged dam as risk of flooding of UK town rises

Christian Fernsby |
A British military helicopter dropped bags of ballast onto the outer slope of a dam that partially collapsed and risks bursting and flooding the town of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire, central England.

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Police evacuated thousands of residents out of the English town on Thursday after the dam was badly damaged by heavy rain.

Authorities warned that subsequent flooding could be life-threatening.

Videos shared on social media showed water pouring out from the Toddbrook Reservoir located above Whaley Bridge.

Authorities told locals to leave the town and to take their pets and any medication they needed with them after the wall of the reservoir became damaged.

"Residents who have been at work, or away from the Whaley Bridge area, are strongly advised to stay away from the area following advice from the Environment Agency who have indicated that the incident currently poses a significant threat to life," Derbyshire Police said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the environment minister would chair a government's emergency committee meeting on Friday to coordinate the response.

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