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LONDON-Britain is at risk of flood damage on a par with what has hit central and eastern Europe.

The warning from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) comes as global insurers start estimating the cost of cleaning up Europe after the worst floods in a century.

RICS has told ministers that UK flood defences are ill prepared to deal with climate change because of the haphazard nature of the system currently in place. The complexity of the planning system, the number of local councils, water authorities and government agencies involved, and the length of time it takes to put measures in place, are all leaving people and property at risk.

RICS chief executive, Louis Armstrong, said: “The government has yet to heed our warning and take steps to improve the system. We have already seen serious flooding this summer in the UK, and winter is just around the corner. Unpredictable and extreme weather is becoming more frequent.”

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