The 1953 North Sea flood (Dutch, Watersnoodramp, literally "flood disaster") was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and morning of 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.
A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm over the North Sea caused a storm surge (known locally as a "storm tide"). The combination of wind and high tide had the effect that the water level exceeded 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level in some locations. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding. The Netherlands, a country that is partly located below mean sea level and relies heavily on sea defences, was mainly affected, recording 1,836 deaths. Most of these casualties occurred in the southern province of Zeeland. In England, 307 people were killed in the counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. 19 were killed in Scotland. 28 were killed in West Flanders, Belgium.
Further loss of life exceeding 230 occurred on water-craft along Northern European coasts as well as in deeper waters of the North Sea; the ferry MV Princess Victoria was lost at sea in the North Channel east of Belfast with 133 fatalities, and many fishing trawlers sank.
Survivors and relatives of those killed in one of the UK's worst natural disasters paused to remember the floods of 1953.
Sixty years ago the North Sea battered the east coast of England, surging two miles inland.
It was caused by a high spring tide, low pressure and exceptionally strong northerly gales.
The surge cost 307 lives in English coastal towns and villages. Many more died on the continent and at sea.
The Princess Royal attended a service at Chelmsford Cathedral to mark the anniversary, where she was introduced to guests connected with the Great Flood.
The service brought together survivors from Essex and further afield, including representatives from the Netherlands where 1,800 people were killed.
During the service, the horror on Canvey Island was re-enacted by children from a theatre workshop and three candles representing the lives lost in Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium were lit.
Smaller acts of remembrance took place across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
How it all unfolded : http://www.edp24.co.uk/norfolk-life/the ... _1_1831954
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