Floods leave many people homeless
A week after devastating floods swept through the Czech Republic, life in the country is slowly returning to normal. Thousands of people have returned from evacuation shelters to clean up their homes, take stock of their circumstances and learn to live with their losses. But not everyone has a home to come back to.
Receding flood waters are revealing the extent of the devastation wrought. Many people who were overjoyed to find their house still standing saw their relief turn to despair - their home was no longer habitable and slated for demolition. Every tenth apartment building in the Prague 8 district of Karlin is considered unsafe and will have to be torn down. Three buildings in the district have already collapsed. Across the country people are waiting to hear whether or not they will be left homeless. The authorities are doing their best to prevent evacuees from returning to their homes before they are declared safe, but many are doing so secretly , knowingly risking their lives to save pets or precious personal belongings left behind.
The new homes are to be constructed in safer locations - ie. further away from river banks. Individual town halls have welcomed this form of aid and the number of "orders" is expected to exceed several hundred. The new houses will be constructed at a rate of approximately 30 a month - which still leaves many families wondering where they will be spending the winter.