Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken of his shock at the flooding which has hit large parts of Britain, and he promised to "ensure everything is being done to help" after a woman died in the chaos.

The woman became the second victim to die as a result of this week's horrendous weather.

She was killed in Western Way, Exeter, when she was trapped under a fallen spruce tree which injured two others on Saturday night.

On Thursday, a man died when his car became wedged under a bridge near to a ford at Rectory Fields, in Chew Stoke, Somerset.

On Twitter, Mr Cameron said: "Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help."

He made the comment as the weather appeared to improve, but the Environment Agency continued to issue flod warnings.

One severe flood warning - the highest alert possible - is in place for the River Cober at Helston in Cornwall. River levels are rising and imminently expected to flood out into the lower areas of the town causing significant hazard, the agency said.

It has also issued 221 flood warnings and 267 less-serious flood alerts - with nearly all parts of England and Wales affected but particularly the South West and Midlands.

Meanwhile, the general manager of West Midlands Ambulance Service has hit out at members of the public after emergency services were called to deal with several incidents where cars had been driven through flood water and became stranded.

Nathan Hudson said: "People who attempt to pass through flooded roads are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of the emergency services staff who have to rescue them. A little bit of common sense from the public will ensure that no-one's life is put in any unnecessary danger. Just because your vehicle has four-wheel drive, does not make it amphibious. They too can become stuck in deep flood water."