19 augustus 2011

North Sea flood of 1953

I grew up during the Cold War, but my parents have - naturally - different memories from their youth. World War II but also the North Sea Flood which occured in 1953. My parents had this book and I flipped through it once but it didn't really mean that much to me. Nowadays I can relate better. Floods or other disasters caused by nature always happen far away in other parts of the world. But it actually did happen in the Netherlands. More precisely, it happened in the part of the country I grew up in, the province of Zeeland. 

The other day I bought this book with the map in a thriftshop and had a was moved by the pictures. In a way it took me back to my fathers stories.

Quote from Wikipedia: 
The 1953 North Sea flood (Dutch, Watersnoodramp, literally "flood disaster") was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and morning of 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.
A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm caused a storm tide. In combination with a tidal surge of the North Sea the water level locally exceeded 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding. The Netherlands, a country that is partly located below mean sea level and relies heavily on sea defences, was mainly affected, recording 1,836 deaths. Most of these casualties occurred in the southern province of Zeeland. In England, 307 people were killed in the counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk,Suffolk and Essex. 28 were killed in West Flanders, Belgium.

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