On the 28th of February 2010 at 2 a.m. the storm Xynthia hit the French Atlantic coast. The storm surge combined with the high tide and large waves caused flood defences to fail along the coastline from the Gironde (Bordeaux) to the Loire Estuary. A significant amount of land, (>50 000 ha) was consequently flooded and 47 people died as a result of the storm. Most people died due to the flooding (they drowned, were exhausted or died from hypothermia). A number of people died as a result of the storm itself (storm debris). The French departments of Vendée and Charente Maritime suffered the most. Some parts of the departments Gironde and Loire Atlantique were also flooded. Since 1953 the Netherlands has not had any experience with major floods. Large parts of the Netherlands are also prone to coastal flooding, even though we have very high safety standards. The Netherlands can learn from this flood in a neighbouring country with a common history and legal system. The foundation of the legal system in the Netherlands and France was laid down in the Napoleonic period with the introduction of the book on common law. Jurisprudence plays a minor role in Napoleonic law. The flood was not caused by natural phenomena alone, organisational failure plays a large role in understanding the flood. This book describes the Xynthia storm and its consequences.
Kolen, B; Slomp, R; Van Balen, W; Terpstra, T; Bottema, M; Nieuwenhuis, S