The Flood of 1953

By Cristian Urcola BERS2E; double published in the ESB Times

On 29 January 1953, a heavy storm struck the Netherlands, resulting in a flood. It killed 1,836 people, tens of thousands of animals, and destroyed many habitats. This flood was the biggest natural disaster in the Netherlands of the 20th century. In Zeeland, the storm peaked at 10 PM that night, in IJmuiden at 1 AM and in Den Helder at 4 AM. It flooded many parts of Zeeland, South Holland, and North Brabant, where the dikes were not strong enough to withstand the flood. Over 72,000 people were evacuated and over 150,000 hectares of land were inundated, causing severe damage to farmland and infrastructure. The disaster destroyed around 4,000 houses and damaged 43,000 other buildings. The total cost of the damage in repairs was a whopping 5.4 billion.

I am writing this article as a remembrance of the innocent people whose lives were taken away due to the flood, 70 years ago.

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