Many towns and villages battling with floods

Towns and villages across the Czech Republic are battling with local floods, as a result of melting snow and persistent rain. The north, south and eastern parts of the country have been hit and the army has been called in to help the worst affected areas. Two villages in the north have had to be evacuated, one of them counting 500 inhabitants. In other places firemen are pumping water from cellars and gardens. People have been filling sandbags and erecting makeshift barriers to try to protect their property. Several roads have had to be closed down. 3,000 firemen and 900 soldiers are in the field, and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said another 800 were on standby should the situation worsen.

The Czech capital Prague is likewise on flood alert and there are preparations to offset a small scale flood. The area between Charles Bridge and Lichtenstein Palace is being cleared out for the erection of anti-flood barriers and Prague's Troja Zoo is preparing for a possible evacuation of 1,000 animals.