The River Thames is on the cusp of bursting its banks after the highest ‘supertides’ for two decades hit the UK, sparking 28 flood alerts and rescue operations.

The Environment Agency has warned that the River Thames could flood over a 12-mile stretch in west London, between Putney and Teddington.

The EA issued two warnings – meaning flooding is expected – in Somerset and Pembrokeshire, and 26 alerts in London, the South West, Wales and the North West.

Other affected areas include; Dover, Kent; Newhaven, East Sussex; Hinkley Point, Somerset; at Plymouth, Devon; Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire; Liverpool; Lowestoft, Norfolk; Immingham, Lincs; North Shields, Tyne and Wear; Edinburgh; Aberdeen; Moray Firth; and Wick.

High tides are 4.5metres higher than at other periods of the month in Bristol, at 14.4m compared to 9.9m at other periods, with London at 7.7m, up 1.7m.

Monday’s blood supermoon lunar eclipse triggered the highest tides of the moon’s 18.6-year cycle.

John Curtin, from the EA, said: “The supermoon is dragging tides to the highest level in years – but the overall flood risk remains low.”