Dutch coast is now ‘super-storm proof’ again

A still from EO television series 'If the dykes break'
A still from EO television series ‘If the dykes break’

A massive project to reinforce 10 weak places in the Dutch coastal defences has been completed and the country’s shoreline is super-storm proof again, the AD said on Monday.

The final stage of the project was officially finished on Monday in the western part of Zeeland where a 10 kilometer stretch of coast line has been reinforced. Zeeland was one of the places that suffered most when the last superstorm hit the Netherlands in 1953.

‘The likelihood of a super-storm is on average once in 100 years,’ said infrastructure minister Melanie Schultz. ‘That might not seem like bad odds, but without good protection, the damage could cost us over €100bn.’

In 2003, research by transport authority Rijkswaterstaat found that the power of the waves hitting the coast was greater than had previously been supposed.

Engineers said that with storms expected to become more frequent and more powerful, some 10 stretches of dune or dyke needed reinforcing.

The total cost of the project was €606m, €45m below budget according to infrastructure ministry figures.

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