PRAGUE-The Czech government has declared a state in emergency in all Czech regions with the exception of the eastern Pardubice region over severe flooding. The cabinet has also released 300 million crowns to assists municipalities in dealing with the damages. Heavy and persistent rain has raised water levels on a number of rivers, mainly in the south, west and north of the country. Highest flood alert levels have been declared at more than 50 sites including the capital Prague. Hundreds of people had to leave their homes. South and central Bohemia are the heaviest hit regions where dozens of places report 10- to 50-year peak floods.
Two die, three missing in floods
Two people have died and three are missing in floods that hit parts of the Czech Republic over the weekend. A woman and a man died in Třebenice outside Prague on Sunday when their house collapsed, the news agency ČTK reported. Three more people have disappeared when rafting on swollen rivers on Friday and Saturday. The authorities have strongly warned against undertaking any activities on or near rivers.
Prague authorities close metro stations amidst fears of flooding
Prague authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital on Sunday afternoon after the Vltava reached the highest level of flood alert. Eight metro stations on the B and C lines have been closed including Vltavská, Florenc, Staroměstská and Malostranská, and the authorities announced parts of the metro would be closed on Monday. Flood barriers have been erected to protect Malá Strana, Old Town, and other parts of the capital. An emergency response team convened earlier on Sunday, and warned that individual and public transport will likely be restricted. Prague City Hall has launched an information hotline (800 100 99) for flood-related inquiries. Some parts of the city centre threatened by flooding might be evacuated later on Sunday.
Prague’s Charles Bridge closed, hospital and zoo under evacuation
Prague’s Charles Bridge has been closed for the public to allow access for heavy machinery which clears wood and other debris caught between the pillars of the bridge. The Na Františku hospital, located in the Old Town, is being evacuated; some patients were released to home care, others are being taken to other hospitals in the capital. Some animals in Prague’s zoo, which lies close to the river, have been moved further up from the swollen Vltava, including the garden’s gorillas, turtles, tapirs, and others. The zoo will be closed on Monday. Radio Praha