Mobile floodwalls of Prague an good example for world

18:03, May 17, 2010      

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The mobile floodwalls of Prague that are exhibited at the 2010 Shanghai Expo provide a good example for many cities across the world to protect them from floods, as flood control is not only one of the crucial issues many countries face, but one of the ways to make cities and lives better for people living there.

"Prague can now withstand massive floods thanks to the improved anti-flood system," Jacub Zmrzlik, a Czech representative in the Urban Best Practices Area, told Xinhua on Monday.

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, has used a kind of special dike that could be built and moved freely in a short time to protect the city against floods, he said.

In the Case Joint pavilion 4, Xinhua reporters saw the dike is formed by individual mobile walls, which are made of alloy of aluminum. Every component is 2.5 to 3 meters long, and 20 centimeters high.

"The height of the walls can be changed freely. If you want to build higher walls, you can add more components; if you want lower ones, remove some of them," Zmrzlik explained, pointing to the walls exhibited in the pavilion, "Look, it is very simple and easy."

Sealed with rubber, he said, the walls could also resist water very well. "The walls guarantee nearly 100 percent water tightness upon proper installation thanks to rubber sealing," he noted.

No large machines are needed to install the walls because of the light weight of components, Zmrzlik said.

Ten workers can finish the installation of a wall of 100 meters long and 3 meters high in two hours, he said.

Zmrzlik said the walls are stored in warehouses in normal times and the related data are registered by computers. In case of floods, the walls can be quickly transported to the right places, he said.

In the exhibition hall, people can find the name of the places where the walls were laid and exact serial numbers of the components.

Eva Kubatova, the city hall speaker, told Xinhua in Prague that river embankments in the city have been equipped with a kind of special anchor made of stainless steel, into which embankment walls would be imbedded.

The system is now capable of protecting about 95 percent of the total area of Prague, she added, mentioning the floods that hit Prague in 2002.

In the worst flooding, some 16 people died across the country, and 48,000 others were evacuated from Prague. The flooding also crippled transportation and transformed streets into waterways, causing a financial loss of 3 billion euros (3.7 billion U.S. dollars).

An entire set of emergency measures also have been put into place. Once the city's anti-flood headquarters issues an warning, the army, city police and firefighters could act immediately, Kubatova said, noting that almost the entire city could get fully prepared for floods within 24 hours.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:祁澍文)

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