Dozens of Dutch hamlets became ghost towns Tuesday as tens of thousands fled surging rivers that threaten to breach dikes and flood farmlands. At least one person drowned.
Floodwaters which killed at least 27 people in northwestern Europe earlier this week began to recede. But the flooding isn’t expected to peak until today in the Netherlands, where most land is below sea level.
On Monday, about 15,000 people left low-lying farmlands of their own volition. On Tuesday, the evacuations were mandatory; Dutch authorities declared a state of emergency and ordered 70,000 people out of “polders,” farmland reclaimed over the centuries from marsh and river basins.