6 Jan 2012

Flood fears in Holland

1:23 pm on 6 January 2012

Villagers in the Netherlands have been advised to leave their homes and farms because of fears of coastal flooding due to strong winds and heavy rain.

Northern provinces have had a month's average rainfall in recent days and the winds have hampered attempts to drain areas of reclaimed land.

Some farmers in Tolbert in the northern province of Groningen refused to leave their cattle, despite reports that an inland dyke was at risk of breaking.

Flood warnings have been issued for the west coast.

Water companies say they have pumped millions of gallons into the sea.

The BBC reports 11 ships were prevented from docking at the Rotterdam container terminal because of high water levels.

More than half the population in the Netherlands lives in areas below sea level.

Floods in 1953 killed nearly 2000 people and caused widespread damage.