A MAJOR incident has been declared in south Wales as Storm Dennis batters the region.

South Wales Police, on behalf of the local reslilience co-ordination group, has declared the major incident "in the wake of serious disruption caused by adverse weather across the south Wales region", a statement said.

Assistant Chief Constable Jennifer Gilmer, said: “I would like to reassure the public who have been affected that we are doing everything we can, and will continue to work tirelessly until all risks dissipate.

“ I would like to thank all our emergency services and rescue partners for their assistance and professionalism. I have very clear advice for everybody, which is not to panic, and to be sensible – stay well clear of any danger such as streams, rivers and flooded areas, and contact us in an emergency.

The full statement reads:"Due to this morning’s flooding and severe weather related incident which have occurred overnight and through the course of the morning, a major incident was declared and South Wales Police is co-ordinating a multi-agency response.

"The emergency services, jointly with local authority planning departments, local health boards, and organisations such as Mountain Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and utility companies, are working continuously to ensure the safety and welfare of those affected, minimise damage to infrastructure and property, and minimise disruption.

"Agencies are continuing to deal with multiple floods and landslides, and have been required to evacuate residents from houses.

"Some communities have been cut-off as a result, but emergency service workers are working tirelessly to put measures in place to ensure the safety of residents.

"Many rescues have been carried out over the past few hours along the evacuation of houses.

"Local authorities across the region have set up emergency centres for residents who have been displaced.

"The public can be reassured that everything is being done to ensure their safety and that while obviously under significant demand, emergency services are coping with the pressure placed upon them."

Public advice for people in affected areas:

Remain indoors, unless your journey is absolutely necessary.

Steer well clear of dangers such as waterways.

In an emergency, dial 999 – let highly skilled emergency service and rescue staff deal with incidents safely.

Monitor local media and social media accounts for relevant organisations for updates.