All Saints' Flood (1570)

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Drawing by Hans Moser in 1570 of Scheldt flood

The All Saints' Flood (Allerheiligenvloed) of 1570 was a disaster which happened on November 1, on the Dutch coast. Affected cities include Egmond, Bergen op Zoom and Saeftinghe.

The Domeinraad council in Bergen op Zoom on 1 November 1570 recorded: "Commenting that those big storms of wind yesterday" were to the dike works of the south and north quarters "a warning given about very excessive high flood."

A long period of storm pushed the water to unprecedented heights, still higher than those at the flood disaster of 1953. It broke innumerable dikes on the Dutch coasts, as a result of which there were enormous floods and immense damage. The total number of dead, including in foreign countries, must have been above 20,000, but exact data is not available. Tens of thousands of people became homeless. Livestock was lost in huge numbers. Winter stocks of food and fodder were destroyed. The Allerheiligenvloed marks the origin of the Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe (verdronken = "drowned"). In Zeeland the small islands Wulpen and Koezand and Cadzand and Stuivezand were permanently lost.

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Part of the text on this page originated from the Internet site of the KNMI (page in Dutch).

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