Mayor Pauline Krikke of The Hague was convinced that the New Year's bonfires on the Scheveningen and Duindorp beaches "could safely burn", she said to her city council on Wednesday. A sea of sparks blown from the Scheveningen bonfire caused multiple fires in Scheveningen over New Year's.
The municipality of The Hague is calling on the public to send in photos or video footage of the New Year's bonfire on Scheveningen beach and the clouds of sparks and ash it caused. The footage will be used in the investigation into the rain of sparks that caused multiple fires in Scheveningen over New Year's, NOS reports.
Multiple fires started in buildings and the dunes in Scheveningen after the wind blew sparks from the New Year's bonfires over the town. The fire department has the fires under control, NU.nl reports.
Photos and videos on social media show whirlwinds with sparks in them. As the wind was blowing from the beach towards Scheveningen, this caused a dangerous situation.
Easter bonfires are causing an increased concentration in particulate matter in the air in some parts of the Netherlands, particularly in Overijssel and Achterhoek. "Especially people with lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, and (older) people with cardiovascular disease may suffer", public health institute RIVM warns, NOS reports.
According to the RIVM, the problem lies in the calm weather with not much wind. As a result, smoke and particulate matter can remain in place for a long time. The institute warns people to avoid the smoke as much as possible.
The traditional New Year's bonfires in The Hague are in danger of being banned. As they are now, the fires are "unacceptable from a safety standpoint", Hague Mayor Jozias van Aartsen wrote to the municipal council
Over 40,000 people packed into an area around Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to watch some 4,000 kilograms of fireworks explode in the sky during one of the most elaborate New Year’s Eve countdowns in the Netherlands. The eight-minute long display was the centerpiece of commercial network RTL 4’s countdown to 2016.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan and aldermen of the "Sustainability in the Capital" committee banned balloon launches from all events organized in the city. The municipality also launched an information campaign about the balloons' harmful effects on environment and animal well being.
The bonfire in Scheveningen, The Hague has broken a world record. The pallet stack of 15 by 15 meters on the beach at Duindorp went into the record books as "biggest bonfire in the world". An employee of the Guinness Book of Records confirmed this.
According to the first preliminary figures of the police, there were fewer incidents during this New Year's than last year. In 2013 the police received 8,413 reports of incidents, this year there were 8,236. This year the police made 576 arrests, compared to 824 in 2013.
The round-up of some of this week’s most noteworthy events and news stories features: the violent autumn storm that passed over The Netherlands, two dead by fire in wind turbine, top Dutch baseball players, violence against gay people in Vondelpark, and the death of Bonfire.
Champion horse Bonfire has died on Monday morning at the age of 30. The most well-known horse in the Netherlands, besides the horse of Sinterklaas of course, won with his rider Anky van Grunsven a gold medal at the Olympics in Sidney in 2000.
‘My heart is broken, Bonfire passed away,” announced the 3 time Olympian champion Anky van Grunsven on Twitter.