News of Radio Prague

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North Bohemia now being hit by devastating floods

The devastating floods which have hit the Czech Republic in the last week are now causing serious problems in several areas in north Bohemia. While flooding is believed to have peaked in the town of Usti nad Labem early on Friday afternoon, the situation worsened in Decin and Litomerice. Swollen waters where the Elbe river meets the Ohre have created a 20-kilometre-long, eight-kilometre-wide lake between Litomerice and Roudnice nad Labem.

Prodi promises European Union aid to deal with flood damage

The president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, has visited Prague to assess the situation following the severe floods; on Friday morning, he and Czech President Vaclav Havel flew over some flooded areas by helicopter, and visited an evacuation centre in Litomerice. The European Union has pledged to give the Czech Republic some 58 million euros in aid for the areas affected by the flooding. The money will mostly be spent on repairing infrastructure. Mr Havel thanked Mr Prodi for the solidarity the EU had shown with the Czech Republic.

Death toll now put at 13

It is now believed that thirteen people have died in the floods over the last week, with two more bodies being discovered on Friday. One was found in the central Bohemian town of Kralupy, and police said they believed the man had driven into a flooded street in a housing estate in the town on Wednesday evening.

Health officials in Prague warn of crisis caused by filth after floods

Health officials have warned of a possible health crisis triggered by the raw filth left in Prague as floods have been receding. The health risk is one reason city authorities have prolonged the evacuation of some 50,000 of the city's residents, though some people have been allowed to return to their homes. People returning to the Smichov district of Prague have been urged to wear rubber gloves and boots and to disinfect everything which has been in contact with flood water or mud. Meanwhile, the Health Minister, Marie Souckova, has requested funds for a hepatitis vaccination campaign in flood affected areas, saying some 65,000 children could be vaccinated in the first wave.

Weather

Saturday should be quite clear with showers in places, and temperatures between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius. Sunday's weather should be quite similar, but with the possibility of storms, and with maximum temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius.