Sunday 18 April 2021

The Netherlands remembers 60 years since the dykes broke

Special events are taking part in many places in the Netherlands on Friday to remember the great floods of 1953, in which over 1,800 people died.

In the early hours of February 1, 1953, dykes in the south of the country broke, and large parts of Zeeland, the Zuid-Holland islands and western Brabant were flooded.

Over 100,000 people lost their homes in the disaster, which was caused by a combination of strong winds and high tides. Some 500 buildings were destroyed and many more were damaged. Almost 200,000 hectares of farmland land was devastated by the salt water.

In the Zuid-Holland village of Oude Tonge, where 305 people lost their lives, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony to remember the dead. Other events take place throughout the affected areas.

The tragedy led to the development of the Delta Works flood prevention scheme, a massive complex of dykes and sluice gates along much of the southern coastline.

More photos of the floods

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.