Local Heart, Global Soul

June 10, 2014

The Blast Wall Stands Ready And Waiting: Just In Case…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,Traditionally Dutch — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the journey south to Zeeland we decide to take the ferry over the Maas river.

As the crow  flies it’s not too far from the outskirts of the port of Rotterdam and there’s a  feature here that I’ve tried to explain in a previous post but not managed to photograph very well until this trip back in the autumn of 2013.

The port of Rotterdam is vast, in fact they have been busy reclaiming some sixty kilometres of land and recently opened another of a series of extensions.

There are petrochemical plants,  massive container terminals and storage areas, and rows and rows of  gas and petroleum storage silo’s as well as the storage of various chemicals on an industrial scale.

The big rivers in the Netherlands are not just vital as access to the port and carry millions of tons of barge shipping deep inland into Germany and beyond, they also have a serious role to play in the network of dykes and levies that help protect hundreds of kilometres of low lying land around and between them.Therefore it’s hardly a surprise that  contingency measures have been put in place to protect the surrounding area should a worst-case scenario situation ever come to pass.

By the bridge and along the river, huge concrete towers  stand as a blast-wall defence against the shock waves that would be produced should any of the storage tanks ever explode. The first set of towers are wide, have curved front edges and flat backs, the second set are smaller and rounder, but there are twice as many of them. The idea is that should there be an explosion in the petrochemical area close by, that these reinforced concrete columns can absorb the bulk of the shock-waves so that the dykes, river and surrounding land on the other side suffer the least amount of damage.

They stand like silent sentries, just a tiny part of how the Dutch national flood defence system, ready for their moment if ever needed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

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