Dozens of people have been standing in a car park for more than five hours while a burst water pipe sent water gushing through their homes in Finchley today.

The building in Glebelands Close was evacuated shortly after 2pm as water poured from the ceiling on the fifth floor.

Zaby Begum, 38, was the first to notice the flooding.  Ms Begum, who has lived in her flat for seven years, said: “I got in the shower when I heard something strange.

“I got out and noticed water was spraying out of the ceiling. I thought there had been an earthquake.

“I told everyone to get out of the building and called 999.”

Firefighters arrived at the scene but neighbours say it “took a long time” before the leak was stopped.

Peter Searl, 75, has lived in his flat since 2004 with his wife Pam, who he has been married to for 50 years. He said: “I’m disabled and have suffered from strokes. This is not good for me.

“Someone banged on my door and when I opened it water came rushing in. It was beyond belief.

“I was trying to push the water out using a broom until the firemen asked me to leave the building.”

Metropolitan, which manages the homes, said: “We are working to fix the problem as soon as possible, but each of the flats will need to undergo electrical testing before the residents can safely return home.

“This may take some time, so our team working on-site are supporting the residents and working hard to find them short-term emergency accommodation.”