Europe

A broken dike prompts evacuations in the Netherlands.

Evacuations were ordered in the southern Netherlands on Friday after a dike broke along the Juliana Canal, a 22-mile waterway that regulates the Maas River.

The river’s water level is at heights not witnessed since 1911, the Dutch national broadcaster NOS reported.

Residents of the villages of Brommelen, Bunde, Geulle and Voulwames were ordered to evacuate immediately, after initially being told to move to higher floors in their homes. About 10,000 people live in the area.

The local authorities said there was “a large hole” in the dike, prompting fears that the entire area would be flooded.

The Netherlands has so far been spared the death and destruction that this week’s flooding has caused in Germany and Belgium. But in Valkenburg, a city in the south of the Netherlands with about 16,000 residents, damage was severe. Hundreds of houses were without power, and the center of the city was flooded.

“The damage is incalculable,” Mayor Daan Prevoo of Valkenburg told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. He predicted that repairs would take weeks.

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