The Dutch government plans to ban firecrackers before the end of the year, in an effort to make New Year's safer. Firework sellers will also be obliged to give their customers safety goggles and stable firing tubes for rockets, RTL Nieuws reports based in information from insiders in The Hague.
A massive storm that hit the Netherlands on Thursday caused around 90 million euros worth of damage to cars and homes, according to a prognosis the Dutch association of insurers VvV released on Friday morning. Thursday's storm is the third largest to hit the Netherlands this century, the association said. The Netherlands annually deals with four to five large storms across the country, with an average annual damage of 50 million euros.
Hundreds of storm damage incidents were reported around the Netherlands on Thursday morning, with insurer Interopolis reporting three times more damage notifications than they expected, a spokesperson told Omroep Brabant. With several hours of sustained heavy winds battering the Netherlands, and gusts peaking at TK km/h, the damage caused by Thursday’s storm should easily top a 10 million euro estimate, the Dutch insurers association VvV told newswire ANP.
The locks of the Sinterklaas home in Dordrecht were sabotaged by activists over night. A metallic substance and glue were found in the locks, making the doors difficult to open. Stickers reading 'Zwarte Piet is racism' were stuck on the building, NOS reports.
According to the VVV, the organization responsible for the Sinterklaas home, the damage is not too bad. All stickers were removed before the home opened to its public, which mostly consists of school children. The Sinterklaas house is a municipal building where Sinterklaas 'lives'.
Police and firefighters searched the waters of Spilsluizen in Groningen with boats, divers and a dreg team for missing Groningen student Wytze Pennink on Sunday. The 18-year-old boy from Bussum was last seen early on Friday morning. His body was not found in the search.