INUNDATIONS AND FLOODS are produced by the overflow of the ocean or of rivers. To these the low countries -adjacent to the sea or rivers arc liable. Holland, many of whose cities and fields are upon ground snatched front the ocean, presents the most frequent scene of these calamities. In the year 800 A.D., the sea lose and swept over a portion of the Netherlands, carrying with it vast tracts of land. and changing the very shape of the coast. In 1014 a large part of the Netherlands and England, and in 1134 a put of Flanders, were submerged. In 1164 a part of Friesland and the lowlands of the Elbe and Weser were inundated. On All Saints' day in 1170 the northern part of Holland was visited with a flood so terrific that miles of country were swallowed up by the encroaching sea, and exactly to a day 400 Years later the south of Holland was ravaged by the waves, so that Antwerp, Bruges, hamburg, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were submerged, and 30,000 people perished. In 1277 an inundation from the sea destroyed 44 villages; in 12-87 by another 80,000 persons were drowned, and the Znyder Zee received its present form and extent. In the pith c. it is said that 100,000 were .lei,troyed through the imperfection of dikes. In 1862 a flood destroyed 30 villages on the of Nordstrand. The St. Elizabeth flood of 1377 swept away 72 villages, laid desolate Sn m. of territory, and altered the course of both the Maas and Rhine. By the formation of dunes and an elaborate system of dikes the Dutch have succeeded of late years in keeping the restless invader at bay, and thus avoiding a national calamity. But while the dunes have done much to save the Netherlands from great loss, yet these would have afforded but a partial barrier without dikes. When dikes were first used is not known. In the 7th c. Friesland was diked by king A dgilluc, and in the 8111 c. Zealand by the Dunes and Goths. When Spain ruled Holland, the dikes, oat being kept in good condition, the engineer Caspar de Robles, governor of Friesland, com pelled the people to repair them. and set his own soldiers to work.
Weer countries besides Holland have suffered from the eneronehments.of the ocean. England, notwithstanding her barrier of high cliffs, has been the victim of several innn-, datious. In 1607 the greater part of south Devonshire and the neighhoring countries of Dorset and Cornwail were deluged by a sea-flood that caused it fearful loss of life and property. Denmark too, in 1634, was with an inundation, when the sea with a mighty sweep which reached even Bremen, Hamburg. and Udell burg, poured over the villages of the Nordland, destroying more than 20,000 human beings and 150,000 cattle. In 1717 the waters overflowed the northern coast, and ruined r n immense 11 timber of buildings. In 1825 the waters rose to a great height, the flood being ascribed to an earthquake.
Vie floods from rivers are sometimes beneficial, as, for instance, those of the Nile, which fertilize with their deposit the alluvial plains. But for the most part they are
destructive, and those of modern times have been more disastrous than earlier ones. The direct cause of river-floods is the discharge of water into the channels more rapidly than it is carried off. The most effectual remedy against these disasters is high and solid dikes, though even these are sometimes unavailing. In 1829 an inundation occurred at Dantzic, occasioned by the Vistula breaking through its dikes, when 4,000 houses were destroyed, many lives lost, and 10,000 cattle perished. In France, Oct, 31 to Nov. 4. the Saone poured its waters into the Rhone, broke through its banks, covered 60.000 acres, and inundated several cities and towns. The Saone had not risen so high for 238 years. May 12, 1849, there was an inundation of the Mississippi at New Orleans, when 160 squares and 1600 houses were flooded. At different times the inundations of the Ohio, Mississippi, and other rivers have destroyed much property and many lives. The most destructive inundation of modern times is that which occurred in Hungary, March 12, 1879. Szegedin, the second commercial town in Hun gary, was neatly destroyed by the bursting of the dikes of the river Theiss. The first intimation of the coming calamity was given Monday, March 10. when two of the three dams protecting the town gave way, and Dorozsma near Szegedir, containing 400 houses, was totally destroyed. Though 5,000 men were immediately set to work on the remain ing embankment, two days later it burst, and the waters, aided by it gale, rushed forth with terrine violence, carrying away part of the railway station and rolling-stock, and flooding the town with many feet of water. Two-thirds of the town were submerged, including the citadel, the post and telegraph offices; and whole rows of houses fell. The synagogue fell in, crushing many who had sought refuge in it, and the inmates of the orphanage were buried in its ruins. Two manufactories were burned. To add to the horrors of the scene the city was in darkness, the gas-works being 15 ft. in the water; 80,000 people were houseless, and from 4,000 to 6,000 supposed to have been drowned. Of 9,700 houses all but 261 were destroyed. A hundred square miles in the neighbor hood of Szegedin were flooded and the crops of the district lost. So sudden and violent was the flood that, instead of five or six hours which it was calculated the flood would take to spread through the town, scarcely an hoUr and a half had passed before Szegedin was submerged. The poorer classes were extremely unwilling to leave their homes, and .in many cases force was necessary for their removal. Thousands suffered fur want of food, and sickness broke out among the refugees encamped on the dikes.