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324 THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD.

sand, and one authority fixed it at seven million. Two million people were rendered destitute by the flood, and the suffering that resulted was frightful. Four months later the inundated provinces were still under the muddy waters. The government officials who were on guard when the Hoang-Ho broke its banks were condemned to severe punishment, and were placed in the pillory in spite of their pleadings that they had done their best to avert the disaster.
    The inundation which may be classed as the second greatest in modern history occurred in Holland in 1530. There have been many floods in Holland, nearly all due to the failure of the dikes which form the only barrier between it and the sea. In 1530 there was a general failure of the dikes, and the sea poured in upon the low lands. The people were as unprepared as were the victims of the Johnstown disaster. Good authorities place the number of human beings that perished in this flood at about four hundred thousand, and the destruction of property was in proportion.
    In April, 1421, the River Meuse broke in the dikes at Dort, or Dordrecht, and ancient town in the peninsula of South Holland, situated on an island. Ten thousand persons perished there and more than one hundred thousand in the vicinity. In January, 1861, there was a disastrous flood in


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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen