Children were evacuated from the Heilige Familie Primary school and the Oogappeltjes crèche. Residents of and visitors to the Hoogstraat were also evacuated. They have all been taken to the local sport centre.
Pupils and teachers from the Arnold School have evacuated to a branch of a hardware wholesaler.
The Hoogstraat, part of the Kerkstraat and the area around the towns market square have been closed to traffic. Residents of the Ettelgemsestraat, Mariastraat, Kerkstraat and the Kapellestraat have also been asked to leave their homes. Facilities have been made available for them in a local cultural centre.