Floods Ravage Czech City

Created: 2013-06-06 09:01 EST

Category: World > Europe
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Devastating floods are gradually receding in the central European country of the Czech Republic, but dealing with the aftermath stands alone as the biggest challenge to its people.

One of the challenges is the reconstruction of the worst damaged city of Melnik in north of Prague, the country's capital city. The city is reported to have been the worst-hit as it is positioned at the intersection of Vltava and Elbe rivers.

Ctirad Mikes, the Mayor of Melnik, said economic losses from the floods are not yet available as they are still dealing with the disaster, adding that the water level is the highest in history and it has inundated two city districts.

[Ctirad Mikes, Mayor of Melnik]:
"Economic losses caused by the floods are not yet available. The water level is the highest in history. The floodwater inundated two city districts. We cannot at the moment give an exact loss figure. We have evacuated nearly 1,500 residents so far."

Melnik suffered huge losses in 2002 from a similar devastating flood, and has since been increasing investment in improving the infrastructure and better controlling and preventing flood damages. A new 'flood-wall' is to be put up in August, but the June 1 torrential rain has forced the project to go faster.

[Ctirad Mikes, Mayor of Melnik]:
"We must quickly complete the flood walls that are still under construction. We need quick reinforcements. The flood walls will play an important role in protecting the city from the severest floods."

The floods has already killed eight people and forced some 19,000 residents to flee their homes. The Czech government has deployed an army of 2,000 soldiers to help civilians and maintain law and order. Meanwhile, 32,000 firefighters and volunteers are reinforcing the flood wall and helping drain floodwater.

According to Czech meteorological authorities, forecasts predicted that more rains are expected in central Europe and warned local authorities to tighten control and prevention measures.