West Flanders activates disaster plan in face of flood risk
The Belgian province of West Flanders has activated its disaster management plan in response to forecasts of heavy rainfall. A provincial crisis cell will be set up in the town of Poperinge to coordinate the situation.
Heavy rainfall is expected in the Westhoek region of the province on Thursday night, which could lead to flooding in the Yser basin. The provincial governor has activated the disaster plan in consultation with the regional fire brigade and local mayors.
The provincial crisis cell will assess where the available pumps are most needed. The Belgian Civil Protection service has been asked to move some of its equipment from its base to the region, and the governor is assessing the need for additional equipment.
In parts of the region, residents have received a government alert advising them to limit their movements, park their cars in a safe place, protect cellar and door openings and turn off gas, electricity and water.
Firefighters already responded to flooding in the region earlier this week. Part of the village of Watou was flooded, and preventive pumping was carried out to keep the water level of the river Yser under control. In the village of Roesbrugge, the fire brigade built a precautionary dam with sandbags.
#FlandersNewsService | Illustrative image © BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM