Netherlands in TIME magazine

Articles on Holland (Nederland) in TIME (1923 – )

Archive for Disasters

Why We Don’t Prepare For Disaster


By 2010 New Orleans will (probably) be flooded only once every 100 years. The NL. has a system designed to protect populated areas against anything but a 1-in-10,000-years flood.

Every July the country’s leading disaster scientists and emergency planners gather in Boulder, Colo., for an invitation-only workshop. Picture 440 people obsessed with the tragic and the safe, people who get excited about earthquake “shake maps” and righteous about flood insurance. It’s a spirited but wonky crowd that is…



Saturation had made the dikes top heavy and even more unstable as water levels subsided. Almost all the embankments were holding as last week ended, but a red alert persisted.

FIFTY YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR II, SOMETHING LIKE BLITZKRIEG returned to Nijmegen last week. Dutch soldiers swarmed around the city while low-flying helicopters thundered overhead. Sirens pierced the air as police cars escorted emergency crews and equipment into town. The scenes reflected the kind of combat the Dutch know best:…



A flooding provoked the largest evacuation ever mobilized in the Netherlands: 250,000 people were forced to flee their homes in Limburg and Gelderland.

Fifty years after World War II, something like the blitzkrieg returned to Nijmegen last week. Dutch soldiers swarmed around the city as low-flying helicopters thundered overhead. The scenes reflected the kind of combat the Dutch know best: struggling with the elements as an onslaught of water threatened to submerge vast…

A Morning to Remember


Fire broke out on Dutch cruiseship aboard the M.S. Prinsendam, who conformed to the safety standards. All of the people aboard clambered into lifeboats and were rescued.

The Prinsendam fire kindles concern about safety at sea

“Every day is a day of joy aboard the M.S. Prinsendam. Six passenger decks are devoted to the luxurious vacation life you expect, with an ambience of intimacy and charm.” So begins a lavish illustrated brochure touting the pleasures of cruising…

Two 231-ft.-long Boeing 747 jumbo jets collided on the ground. Taking off down a runway visible for less than a sixth of its length, KLM 4805 smashed into Pan American 1736.

The sweet scent of flowers reaching their boats inspired ancient Romans and Greeks to call them “the Fortunate Islands.” The refreshingly mild and breezy climate was praised by more modern travelers as “perpetual spring.” But early natives of the Canary Islands,*70 miles off the northwest coast of Africa, knew…

Helping Hearts


The help of old Allies during the North Sea floods has grown into a special kind of comradeship.

As if Western Europe had not already had more than enough of weather, howling blizzards swirled down on Britain last week, while high spring tides threatened The Netherlands and rivers overflowed in Belgium. But man’s battle with nature was slowly being won. Everywhere, catastrophe and the willingness to share it…

Flood’s Wake


Helps comes from all over the world to rescue victims of the North Sea flood and to repare broken dikes. U.S. Airman 3rd Class Reis Leming performed a heroic task saving many.

In The Netherlands village of Dubbeldam, a handful of sober, weary Dutchmen paused for a moment to stand bareheaded before a row of four rough wooden coffins, but there was little time for mourning. The very next night new gales whipped the swollen tides down the wind tunnel of the…



The North Sea flood and the associated storm combined created a major natural disaster which swept islands, villages and cities underwater, leaving hundreds of people dead.

Whirling down from the northeast Atlantic, a tiny but intense low-pressure area widened last week as it swept toward the pushing tides of the North Sea. The wind and the tides met and joined in mutual fury, then smashed at the British Isles and the Low Countries. Dikes crumbled. Whole…

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