A massive storm in the U.K. and sudden drop in temperatures led to thousands of sea animals dying over the past few days.
Photos and videos show shorelines in the country littered with carcasses of the dead animals that were not able to survive Storm Emma.
The storm, along with a blast of Siberian cold dubbed “the Beast from the East,” caused heavy rain, snowfall, and low temperatures in Britain last week. The worst snowstorm to hit the region in nearly 30 years, Emma essentially caused life to come to a halt.
As airports and public transit reopened Monday, scenes of the damage surfaced online.
WATCH: Winter storm in Europe turns deadly
The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust posted photos of workers trying to clean up the Holderness coast, and save the animals that were still alive.
“Devestating scenes this weekend on the Holderness Coast following the #BeastFromTheEast,” the organization’s tweet read. “We have been helping with the rescue efforts trying to save marine life that has been washed up on the shore.”
Bex Lynam, a marine expert based in Yorkshire, posted videos of some surviving wildlife along the North Sea coast. But he described the scene as mostly “a banquet for the birds” who were feasting on the dead animals.
Some of the dead animals seen on the shores included starfish, crabs, lobsters, clams, and various other fish.
In an interview with The Guardian, Lynam said “large waves and rough weather” during the storm led to the mass deaths. Similar die-offs were also reported in other parts of the country hit by storms.
“Larger animals, such as dolphins, are more mobile and can save themselves by swimming away when this sort of thing happens,” he said, explaining why so many smaller animals died.
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The country’s Marine Conservation Society weighed in on the wildlife deaths, explaining that the affected animals tend to become slower in the cold, and have “little opportunity” to escape.
“We regularly see mass strandings of seabed-dwelling animals after storms, usually in Winter, sometimes several times in a year,” it explained in a press release. “This year, the ‘Beast from the East’ combined with heavy seas stirred up by ‘Emma’ appears to be one of the biggest mass strandings on record for the UK.”
— With a file from Reuters
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