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Flash floods threaten Czech Republic


12:31, June 10, 2013

PRAGUE, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Thunderstorms with torrential rain and hail proceeded across Czech Republic Sunday afternoon, posing a threat of flash floods to the country.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said that the heavy rain has caused flash floods at some places.

"Even the streams that look very inconspicuous and have not been considered dangerous so far may turn into a destructive element," he said.

The prime minister added that cases of people endangering life by boating on a swelling river were increasing, noting that boating, canoeing and sailing on flood-endangered rivers would probably be banned by the national flood commission on Monday.

The Czech national emergency team on Sunday ordered regional flood commissions to send patrols to places that had been untouched by floods so far.

Czech Environment Minister Tomas Chalupa said intensive rain and strong thunderstorms can be expected in the following days. The precipitation may reach up to 100 mm per 24 hours and the rainfall intensity will go down Tuesday night.

Acting Prague Mayor Tomas Hudecek has decided not to scrap the highest flood danger degree in the capital city for the moment, citing forecasts and the national emergency team's advice.

"At present, it is not clear how the local intensive precipitation will influence the Vltava's water flow," said Hudecek. The Vltava is the longest river in the country.

Also on Sunday, the city emergency team of Prague announced to reopen the historical Charles Bridge, one of Prague's biggest attractions. The Prague metro also resumed full operation on Sunday.

On June 2, Prime Minister Necas declared a state of emergency for most of the nation as swollen rivers caused by days of heavy rain threatened the capital city's historic center and forced evacuations from low-lying areas.

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