News of Radio Prague
Heavy rains cause local floods
Heavy rains on Saturday night have caused local streams to burst their banks in South, East and Central Bohemia. Roads and cellars were flooded in and around the towns of Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov which had been severely hit by high water earlier this month. In the Krkonose Mountains, East Bohemia, the Upa river rose by two metres within one hour on Saturday night, causing damage worth tens of millions of crowns.
State of emergency replaced by state of alert in some areas
The state of emergency, which lasted for three weeks in five regions of the Czech Republic, was called off at midnight on Saturday. In the surroundings of the towns of Decin and Litomerice and also in some parts of Prague, the state of emergency was replaced by a state of alert expected to last another three weeks. The state of emergency was first declared by Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla on the 12th of August when in a public address on Czech Radio, Mr Spidla stated that the danger caused by heavy floods in five regions of the Czech Republic was severe enough to threaten the property, health, and lives of citizens.
Spolana starts clean-up work, operation to begin in October
Clean-up work has started at the Spolana chemical plant north of Prague which was severely affected by the recent flood. On Saturday morning specialists at the plant finished removing the rest of dangerous chlorine gas stored in partially submerged tanks and on Sunday the Spolana staff started cleaning up the site and preparing the plant for normal operation expected to start at the end of October. The flooding at Spolana caused leakages of several chemical substances both into the air and water, the most dangerous being the leaks of chlorine. Last week, the government intervened after a second leak of chlorine into the air, and the factory's director was sacked.
Terezin WW2 memorial to open for visitors
The former World War II concentration camp at Terezin near Litomerice in Central Bohemia will reopen for visitors on Monday. The site of the memorial as well as the town of Terezin itself were badly hit during the recent flood and the memorial alone suffered damage estimated at 60,000,000 crowns (2,000,000 US dollars). As of Monday, visitors will be able to see the Jewish cemetery and crematorium, the Small Fortress, the Ghetto Museum and other monuments. Between 1940 and 1945, more than 200,000 people were deported to the camp, known in German as Theresienstadt. Some 32,000 people died at Terezin, while 100,000 inmates were later killed at other concentration camps. In 1947 the government of Czechoslovakia decided to preserve the site and turn in into a memorial.
EU approves creation of disaster relief fund
The Foreign Ministers of all fifteen European Union member countries have approved the establishment of a special disaster relief fund. Finances from the fund will be available to both member and candidate countries. The Czech Republic too, is expected to be entitled to resources from the fund, which should help the country in recovering from this year's devastating floods.
Monday is expected to have clear skies and daytime temperatures should range from 18 to 22 degrees Celsius.