Engineers raise more fears about sea defence erosion

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Six civil engineers who had a leading role in building the Oosterschelde storm barrier in Zeeland have told parliament they are extremely concerned about the safety of the sea defence, news agency ANP reports on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the Telegraaf reported officials had discovered holes of more than 50 metres deep in the Oosterscheldedam, part of a massive complex of flood defences protecting the south west of the Netherlands from the sea. The claim was dismissed by the infrastructure ministry.

However, the engineers say necessary reinforcements to the base of the dam have not been made since 2000, and that the sea bed has become seriously damaged. The holes have been caused by currents and the foundations need to be restored to stop the holes giving way.

Although some remedial measures have been taken, there needs to be a structural programme to prevent further erosion of the sea bed, the engineers said.


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