Terrifying floods which have left 11 people dead and resulted in thousands feeling their homes have left swathes of Prague under water today  –  with the deluge now moving towards Germany.

Areas to the south and north of the Czech capital were submerged, including the city’s zoo and horse racing track, in the worst flooding in a decade which followed days of heavy rain. But metal barriers erected along the Vltava river banks protected the historical city centre.

Forecasters said receding rains would help water levels to drop across the Czech Republic, but that parts of Germany, Slovakia and Hungary, would be hit in the coming days.

 
Terrifying: Floods which have left 11 people dead and resulted in thousands feeling their homes have left swathes of Prague under water today. This image shows Prague Zoo flooded by the swollen river Vltava

Terrifying: Floods which have left 11 people dead and resulted in thousands feeling their homes have left swathes of Prague under water today. This image shows Prague Zoo flooded by the swollen river Vltava

 

 
High waters: : A statue of Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy by British sculptor Kaivalya Torphy is partially submerged by the rising waters of the Vltava River in Prague

High waters: : A statue of Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy by British sculptor Kaivalya Torphy is partially submerged by the rising waters of the Vltava River in Prague

 

 
Under water: This image shows an aerial view of a road flooded by the Labe river near Terezin, about 37 miles north of Prague

Under water: This image shows an aerial view of a road flooded by the Labe river near Terezin, about 37 miles north of Prague.

In Germany, about 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in low-lying areas of Saxony and thousands more from parts of Bavaria.

The 11 deaths since the weekend occurred across the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Germany, with the latest two reported in the south German town of Guenzburg, on the Danube.

Many rivers across the region have broken their banks and spilled across the countryside.

High water is likely to stop shipping on the Rhine in south Germany until at least Thursday morning, a state agency said.

Shipping was stopped over the weekend on southern sections of the river as rain caused a sharp rise in water level.

The river remained closed to shipping south of Koblenz on Tuesday, the navigation authority in Baden-Wuerttemberg state said.

The European floods sent shares in reinsurers Munich Re and Hannover Re down by about 2.5 percent on Monday, with markets anticipating big claims from property owners once the waters recede.

Officials said levels of the Vltava had likely peaked early on Tuesday in Prague, but thousands of people were evacuated from towns and cities downstream.

Spolana, a chemical factory in Neratovice north of Prague, said it had moved dangerous substances to a safe location and shut down all production.

Terezin, a town north of Prague with a memorial to a Nazi-era concentration camp, was evacuated late on Monday, and Usti nad Labem, the main city in northern Czech Republic, braced for possibly record-high water levels.

Carmaker Volkswagen temporarily shut its plant in Zwickau, in the eastern German state of Saxony, because the flooding stopped workers reaching the factory.

Large parts of the Prague underground system remained shut today and officials said it would not reopen for days. About 60 streets have been closed to car traffic, and some tram lines have also been shut down.

The last time central Europe saw similar floods was in 2002, when 17 people were killed in the Czech Republic, and damage estimated at 20 billion euros ($26 billion) was inflicted across the region.

Prague residents mostly kept calm, having gained experience from a decade ago.

‘I think Prague is relatively well prepared. They have the flood defences put up … There was more water in 2002,’ said Milos Sedlacek, 72, university lecturer, after he got off a bus that replaced the shut underground service. 

Czech police said this weekend at least five people had died in this spate of flooding. Firefighters evacuated homes in western regions and in villages outside the capital, rescuing 200 people.

Czech officials said the waters of the Vltava river could reach critical levels in Prague and that special metal walls were being erected to prevent flooding.

The Charles Bridge – normally packed with tourists at this time of year – was closed to the public as were some other popular spots near the river at the foot of Prague Castle.

Interim Mayor Tomas Hudecek said they were shutting down eight stations of the capital’s subway network and urging people not to travel to city.

Yesterday , the mayor said all nursery, elementary and high schools in the Czech capital would be closed because of anticipated travel problems.

The dead body of a man was found in the nearby town of Trebenice, Czech public television reported.

Flooding was also reported in Austria and water levels rose in Germany and Poland after heavy rain in central Europe over the past week swelled rivers.

The subway network in central Prague was halted today due to the weather.

It is the first time it has been closed since massive floods submerged the city in 2002 and caused billions of dollars of damage in the Czech Republic.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas declared a state of emergency for most of the nation on Sunday and pledged 300 million crowns ($15.11million) for relief efforts. 

Troops started putting anti-flood barriers in place in Prague and volunteers helped pile up sandbags in areas popular with tourists in the ancient centre. The landmark Charles Bridge was closed and workers evacuated parts of Prague zoo.

Levels on the Vltava river that cuts through Prague’s centre continued to rise today.

Earlier, a woman was killed in the same town after a summer cottage collapsed in the raging water.

Thousands of people have had to be evacuated from their homes across the country, mainly in the north and the south.

In Prague, authorities have ordered the evacuation of the parts of the city’s zoo located by the river.

Also patients from a Prague hospital have been moved to a higher ground.

In Germany, where at least four people have died or are missing, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised federal support for affected areas and said the army would be deployed if necessary.

Troops started putting anti-flood barriers in place in Prague and volunteers helped pile up sandbags in areas popular with tourists in the ancient centre. The landmark Charles Bridge was closed and workers evacuated parts of Prague zoo.

Levels on the Vltava river that cuts through Prague’s centre continued to rise today.

Earlier, a woman was killed in the same town after a summer cottage collapsed in the raging water.

Thousands of people have had to be evacuated from their homes across the country, mainly in the north and the south.

In Prague, authorities have ordered the evacuation of the parts of the city’s zoo located by the river.

Also patients from a Prague hospital have been moved to a higher ground.

In Germany, where at least four people have died or are missing, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised federal support for affected areas and said the army would be deployed if necessary.


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