Tragedy

Heavy rainfall and flash floods are wreaking havoc in Germany, Belgium and also here in The Netherlands right now. So far no deaths here and no floods where I live (very close to the lowest part in The Netherlands) but there are many fatalities in Belgium and especially in Germany. It’s heartbreaking and scary.

We had flooding disasters here in the mid 1990s and since then billions of Euros have been invested in measures to prevent future disasters but even the flood plains that were invested in aren’t enough to stave off all danger. The flood plains are filled with water now but as more rain falls in Western Europe and more water comes down the rivers from Switzerland and Germany, the situation here in The Netherlands will remain precarious. We had virtually no rain where I live and most of the rain seems to be easing now in other parts, but the situation still remains dangerous due to the very high water levels (still rising here), mudslides and structures becoming unsafe.

The Netherlands is quite famous for its water management and flood control and we have all sorts of safeguards in place but even that does not seem to be enough. How even more dangerous will it all get if the climate continues to worsen?

Besides the flooding there has been more tragic news here: the Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries who was gunned down last week has died yesterday. It’s front page news in all the papers here…

Source

As I said before, I’ve never been a big fan of the man but he was very prominent here in The Netherlands, I think he was pretty much known to everyone, and he really did fight courageous battles for justice. This shooting has truly shocked me as an attack on our rule of law and free speech in this democracy and it’s tragic that the sustained injuries were so bad that he couldn’t pull through in the end. I almost had these visions of De Vries crime reporting on his own attackers and the organized crime that is probably behind it all, but alas that is never to be…