Two people have died and Britain's coastal communities have been battered by high winds and huge waves as widespread flooding continues to bring misery to thousands.

A cruise ship passenger died after 125km/h winds whipped up freak waves in the English Channel.

The 85-year-old man was injured when water crashed through a window. He was airlifted from the vessel but later died in hospital.

A number of other passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board.

Elsewhere, a woman was killed when part of a building collapsed on to a car opposite Holborn underground station in London.

More than 30 people had to be rescued by emergency services and the army from a seafront restaurant in Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire after wind-blown shingle shattered windows and the sea flooded it.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA), which represents energy companies across the UK, said more than 140,000 homes were without power after further storms overnight.

There is major disruption across Britain's road and rail networks, with hundreds of trees uprooted across roads and rail tracks. Many train services have been cancelled.

The Environment Agency and emergency services continue to battle with the latest instalment of the worst winter storms in living memory.

There are 22 severe flood warnings in place for coastal communities from Cornwall to Hampshire, Gloucester and the Thames Valley, where rivers remain at their highest levels for decades.

Communities across England have been using sandbags and makeshift barriers to protect their homes and businesses from the floods.

Forecasters are warning of more heavy rainfall and gale-force winds today.

Southern England will see between 10mm-20mm, while the southwest and south Wales could see up to 40mm, the Met Office said.

Meanwhile, a five-metre deep sink hole appeared this morning under a quiet cul-de-sac in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

The people living in 17 homes close to the site in Oatridge Gardens have been evacuated.