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article imagePrague under threat, Czech flood forces 2,700 from homes

By Ashley Woods     Jun 3, 2013 in Environment
Prague - Flood waters plague central Europe, causing authorities to evacuate homes, close schools, halt transportation and discourage travel.
As the Vltava River swells with heavy rains, Prague is under threat as the worst flood in decades uproots 2,700 people from their homes. Low-lying areas of the Czech Republic, including hospitals, retirement homes, cultural institutions and even the city zoo have been evacuated.
The collapse of a home yesterday claimed the lives of two people in Trebenice u Prahy, southwest of Prague.
The Czech government deployed hundreds of soldiers today to prevent a repeat of the 2002 floods that destroyed neighborhoods, causing $1.2 billion in damage. Troops are working tirelessly to erect metal barriers along the Vltava River and pile sandbags in popular tourist areas.
On Sunday, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas declared a state of emergency for most of the nation and pledged 300 million crowns ($15.11 million) for relief efforts.
“I’d like to express my sympathies to all affected by floods and state that the government will help them to deal with the situation,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said at a briefing after an emergency meeting yesterday.
Czech meteorologist have warned that the rain will continue until midweek. An additional 15 millimeters (two-thirds of an inch) is expected today. Twice that amount poured over the country yesterday.
The Czech Republic is not alone in central Europe to submerge in the flooding. At least four people died or are missing in Germany and Switzerland, the Associated Press reported, while one died in neighboring Austria.
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