If the dike breaks texts take Youtube

When dykes break ...

Storm surges have always caused severe and extremely serious disasters on the coasts. Sometimes the power of the water masses is so great that even large dikes break and large parts of the hinterland are flooded. The damage to agriculture, but also to houses and structures, can then quickly reach billions. In many countries of the world it is not even possible to take out insurance against the risk of storm surges due to this gigantic damage potential.

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Once the dikes have been destroyed, immediate help is needed to save people and animals. Often only the helicopter arrives in time to get people off the roofs and save them from drowning. After the severe storm surge of 1962, for example, it was only thanks to the deployment of Bundeswehr and NATO units that 20,000 storm surge victims could be evacuated from the crisis area at the very last second. In extreme cases, storm surges still claim hundreds of thousands of lives - as in 1970 in Bangladesh after a violent tropical cyclone.

Even if the water masses have retreated, the disaster is not over yet. It often takes days or weeks to remove all damage to houses and dikes. In addition, the inland sea water has destroyed harvests and led to the salinisation of the soil. Especially in crisis-ridden countries like Bangladesh, where the struggle for survival determines everyday life anyway, poverty and hunger are increasing as a result.


Status: 04/20/2002

April 20, 2002