Wednesday night was again restless in parts of The Hague. The police arrested a total of four people for throwing fireworks, arson and insulting police officers. One was arrested in Scheveningen, three in the Escamp neighborhood, where large groups of young people were walking around, setting off fireworks, a police spokesperson said to NOS.
A restless night was expected in The Hague on Tuesday after the municipality announced that it will not grant permits for the New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Duindorp and Scheveningen, because the organizers could not meet the requirements. In Duindorp, where riot police had to intervene for three nights before Tuesday, the atmosphere was relatively calm.
The riot police were deployed to the Duindorp neighborhood of The Hague on Sunday night. The neighborhood was restless until around midnight, with waste bins being set on fire and a bus stop being vandalized. This was the second night of unrest in Duindorp, NOS reports.
The New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Sceveningen and Duindorp in The Hague will likely not happen in the coming years because there is "no evidence of a demonstrably professional organization", interim mayor Johan Remkes said. The organizers of the two annual bonfires are also unable to get insurance - no one wants to insure them after last year's rain of sparks, RTL Nieuws reports.
The fire department advised that the New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Scheveningen and Duindorp can be no larger than 10 meters by 10 meters. And the builders of the bonfires will have to hold to that recommendation, interim The Hague mayor Johan Remkes said at his first council meeting on Thursday. "It's that or nothing", he said, NOS reports.
The organization of New Year's bonfires on the beaches in Scheveningen and Duindorp must change fundamentally, because the builders of the bonfires do not comply with agreements made with the municipality of The Hague, the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) said in a report. The OVV investigated the bonfires tradition after the Scheveningen bonfire got out of hand this past New Year's.
A holiday park in Erica in Drenthe was evacuated on Sunday evening after an Easter bonfire got out of control and threatened to spread to the bungalows. The fire has since been extinguished and the holiday makers were allowed to return to their homes. No one was injured, NU.nl reports.
Burning parts were blown from the bonfire, and started fires in the forest in which the bungalow park is located. The fires were quickly extinguished.
Bonfires lit in the Netherlands throughout the year are responsible for 6 percent of the annual emissions of PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - harmful substances that are released when organic material is burned, public health institute RIVM said on Wednesday. The emission of PAH in the country has fallen by two thirds over the past 30 years, NU.nl reports.
Multiple municipalities in the east of the Netherlands decided to ban the traditional Easter bonfires this weekend. Sparks from the bonfires can lead to wildfires, and due to the drought there is a greater risk of these wildfires spreading rapidly and getting out of control, NU.nl reports.
Officials of the municipality of The Hague were threatened by builders of traditional bonfires in the run-up to New Year's, according to minutes of a meeting released on Thursday. The builders of the Scheveningen and Duindorp bonfires also threatened each other, the municipality's Security director said during a meeting with the municipality, the police and Public Prosecutor on December 31st, NU.nl reports.
The builders of the bonfire in Scheveningen was surprised by the municipality of The Hague releasing the covenant regarding the New Year's bonfires on Tuesday. According to the builders, they did not know that mayor Pauline Krikke would release the covenant, and also were not aware of the content thereof, AD reports.
The municipality of The Hague failed to live up to its own agreements for building New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Duindorp and Scheveningen, according to the covenant between the municipality, police, bonfire builders and local safety offices, which was published on Tuesday. The covenant states that if the bonfire towers exceed the maximum height, action must be taken. But nothing was done when this happened, NU.nl reports.
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.