The mutual solidarity of the Limburgers and that of the other Dutch people with the province in need has been highlighted several times in recent days. Many relief efforts were started and many volunteers came forward. But that there are also people who are trying to save money from the flooding, it became apparent tonight during the press conference of the Limburg-North security region.
The chairman of this region, the mayor of Venlo Antoin Scholten, gave two examples. In his municipality, enforcers have ticketed disaster tourists when they climbed on demountable bulkheads. The bulkheads were placed on the Maas to prevent flooding. People also hung over those bulkheads.
“Too crazy for words”, board member Jos Teeuwen of the Limburg Water Board called their behavior. “You’re not only endangering yourself,” he said during the press conference. “What’s much worse, you endanger the entire hinterland and the lives of thousands of people.” Both Teeuwen and Scholten called on people to stay away from the water and the dikes.
fake security guards
Scholten’s second example concerned an incident in the village of Steyl in the municipality of Venlo. There, two people pretended to be security guards in the evenings. These were people who were not security guards and had bad intentions. “There are pumps everywhere, doors are open,” said Scholten. “But the so-called security guards are outdated.”
In an explanation, a spokeswoman for the security region said that both men had bad intentions and may have been out to break in or steal. They have been removed from the site by the police. “There are people who are trying to take advantage of the situation, but they are not going to succeed. We have a lot of assistance from the national police unit.”
Stealing disaster tourists
Earlier in the day, the South Limburg Security Region received the news via calamity channel L1 that shopkeepers from Valkenburg, which had been ravaged by flooding, were complaining about thieving disaster tourists. According to L1, the municipality of Valkenburg has therefore deployed eight boas that patrol the shopping streets.
The otherwise pleasant and bustling streets in the city center today offer a desolate sight. The shopkeepers are emptying their flooded stores earlier this week to repair the damage and to clean up. A lot of things are temporarily put outside. According to some of them, walking disaster tourists then push things that are outside backwards, according to a report by L1. The shopkeepers are calling on people not to come to Valkenburg unless they want to come and help with tidying up and cleaning.
Among the many volunteers who lend a helping hand in Valkenburg, rumors are also circulating about thefts and burglaries. For example, bicycles are said to have been stolen on a large scale from volunteers who are cleaning up the mess. A shoe shop was also allegedly looted. A police spokeswoman was unable to confirm these reports earlier today.
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