Dutch villagers evacuated over flood risk

5th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

Around 100 people were evacuated from a village in the northwest of the Netherlands on Thursday as high waters threatened to overwhelm a dyke, local authorities said.

"About 60 households, including several farms, have been evacuated on a voluntary basis," local authority spokesman Michiel Zijlstera told AFP.

Around 100 animals were also taken to safety from farms in the village of Tolbert which sits on land reclaimed from the sea, after strong wind and rain pounded the region over several days.

"If the dyke gives way, the waters could reach up to a metre (three foot) high," the spokesman said, adding that the evacuees had found shelter with friends or at hotels.

Gale force winds reaching up to 110 kilometres (about 70 miles) an hour as well as heavy rains are expected along the Dutch coast. About a quarter of the country sits below sea level.

© 2012 AFP

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