71,800 would die in river dike break

5th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

5 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — If the dike unexpectedly broke along the Dutch IJssel River at Capelle aan den IJssel, some 71,800 people would be killed, two academics have predicted based on simulations.

5 December 2006

AMSTERDAM — If the dike unexpectedly broke along the Dutch IJssel River at Capelle aan den IJssel, some 71,800 people would be killed, two academics have predicted based on simulations.

The Delft Technical University and WL Delft Hydraulics academics also said if the sea dike broke at Katwijk only 590 people would be killed.

This is because the region is not as low lying and the water would not rise as quickly at Katwijk as it would elsewhere.

And according to the academics, the traditional solution of raising the level of the dikes to prevent flooding is still the best option.

Flooding in the southern Randstad region caused by a sea dike break at The Hague and Ter Heijde would cost the lives of 4,000 people. An evacuation would save very few lives.

The number of victims depends on how hard the water would flow, how quick the water would rise and how deep the water would be. If the water is 4m deep, 20 percent of residents would die.

The calculations indicate that evacuations would only save 600 lives because a North Sea storm can only be forecast one or two days in advance.
 
And before an evacuation can start, authorities would need to consult with each other and residents would need to be alerted. Residents would then start packing their belongings.

In reclaimed land (polders) along the nation's rivers — where there is greater warning time and fewer people — an evacuation would save a lot more lives.

The researchers urged for the building of higher-elevation escape points.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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