Violent storm sweeps across south east of England

A lightning strike in Folkestone Image copyright Dan Desborough
Image caption There were as many as 500 lightning strikes a minute as the storm peaked

A severe storm swept across the south east of England overnight, bringing intense thunder, lightning and heavy rain to the region.

More than 120,000 flashes of lightning were recorded over northern France and south-east England in just 12 hours.

Between 18:00 BST on Sunday and 06:00 there were up to 500 flashes a minute.

A house in Staplehurst, Kent, was hit by lightning just after 02:00, which exploded cables and set the roof on fire.

In Folkestone, also Kent, another house was struck causing a power surge and total electrical failure to the home.

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Media captionA tower block in Stratford, east London, was struck by lightning twice

People who witnessed the dramatic conditions took to social media to share their thoughts.

Paul Bunyard tweeted: "Fantastic show of force from mother nature last night in Kent."

Emma Carwardine tweeted: "Well they wasn't lying about it being an intense storm for Kent... I mean I have seen worse in America but this is just... crazy."

And Joanna Wyld tweeted: "This is the most dramatic storm I've ever experienced. Intensity level just shifted from Jurassic Park to apocalyptic".

Image copyright Simon Shackleton
Image caption Dramatic lightning was seen just off the Kent coast
Image copyright @kentstormchasers
Image caption Tim and Aubrey Oiller captured a lightning strike next to this church near New Romney, Kent
Image copyright Christian Cooper
Image caption Broadstairs, a coastal town in Thanet, saw intense lightning activity during the night
Image copyright Paul Barlow
Image caption The storm as seen from Deal on the Kent coast, where two hours of intense lightning was reported
Image copyright Shantelle Robinson
Image caption Dramatic images of lightning strikes included this one in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
Image copyright Richard Porteous
Image caption Roads in Kent were strewn with debris after the storm

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