Floods and drought hit Moravia at the same time

Floods in Moravia, Photo:CTK

Events this week in the town of Crhov in Southern Moravia will be recorded in the history books as the worst week in the town's history. This and several other towns and villages in the region of Blansko were hit by sweeping floods, that caused millions of crowns of damage and claimed two lives. Experts say such floods occur just once in 250 years. At the same time, paradoxically, other places in Moravia are suffering from drought. More from Vladimir Tax.

Floods in Moravia, Photo:CTK
Five years ago, the Eastern parts of the Czech Republic were hit by disastrous floods and since then repeatedly by smaller-scale flooding virtually every year. This Monday, life changed in several towns and villages in Southern Moravia as a flood wave swept the region of Blansko. Eyewitnesses from Crhov spoke of a two-metre high, several metre wide wave rushing down the hill to wipe out everything that stood in its path. Streets in the town now resemble a war zone - torn asphalt, craters in the streets, exposed underground water pipelines, an iron and concrete bus-stop moved 30 metres from its original location. Dozens of houses, municipal property and infrastructure destroyed.

The damage amounts to tens of millions of crowns. Anti-flood provisions which the municipalities made after the floods five years ago, proved insufficient. Minister of interior Stanislav Gross and Minister for Regional development Pavel Nemec immediately arrived in the affected area. They praised the performance of both the volunteer and professional rescue teams and promised help from the government.

At the same time, some other places in Moravia are suffering from drought. Torrential rains and hailstorms that caused the latest floods miraculously avoided certain areas in the Vsetin region. The village of Ruzdka has not seen a drop of rain for weeks and suffers from a lack of drinking water. Two wells which provide just enough water no longer suffice after a relatively dry spring. The local council now has to order water in tanks and releases it to the public water system supplying 900 inhabitants.

So, paradoxically, while people in Crhov watch every new cloud in the sky with alarm, inhabitants of Ruzdka some 80 kilometres away are praying for rain.