Thursday 30 March 2023

Relatives of missing 1953 flood victims urged to give dna


The police have urged the families of people whose bodies were never found following the devastating floods of 1953 to come forward and given a dna sample, in a new attempt to name the 100 or so victims who were never identified.

‘It is not too late,’ forensic research Hans Geldof told the AD. ‘If there are elderly people who are prepared to give a sample… we can seize the opportunity before it is too late.’

On February 1 it will be 70 years since massive floods tore through southern Dutch coastal areas, killing at least 1,830 people.

The Netherlands remembers the devastating floods of 1953

Over 70,000 people were evacuated 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 and 30,000 farm animals drowned.

Police also launched a similar appeal in 2013 and exhumed several dozen bodies in their efforts to give every grave a name. That campaign led to three victims being identified.

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