The Czech Republic’s Central Flood Commission has warned that more flooding may occur around the country as storms are forecast for the coming days. Speaking after a commission meeting on Saturday, Prime Minister Petr Nečas said that land was still saturated in many areas and further flooding could occur very quickly, perhaps in places that have just been inundated. He also said there was a danger of landslides. Almost a week after flooding began in several parts of Bohemia, Mr. Nečas said the good news was the country was functioning well. Nearly 20,000 people were evacuated last week and 10 people died, while material damage has been estimated in the billions of crowns.
Prague’s transport authority is planning to reopen all of the stations in the city’s metro system at 15:00 on Sunday, the new website Lidovky.cz reported. The metro’s operators had previously said they would open on Monday the remaining stations closed since the threat of flooding began last week. Flood barriers will remain in the vestibules of some stations. Reacting to the news, Prime Minister Nečas said the decision to reopen the entire system early was ill-considered and at variance with the views of the Central Flood Commission.
The Christian Democrats have re-elected Pavel Bělobrádek as party leader. Two-hundred and forty-four of 272 delegates voted for the unopposed Mr. Bělobrádek at a party congress in Olomouc on Saturday. He told the assembled that he believed that the Christian Democrats would re-enter the Chamber of Deputies in elections scheduled for a year from now. Opinion polls have been putting the party, whose stronghold is in Moravia, at around the five-percent threshold needed to get into the lower house.
A 15-year-old elementary school pupil from the North Moravian town of Hlučín gave birth to a baby girl on a school trip to Český Krumlov in south Bohemia last week, the Czech News Agency reported. The principal of the school said nobody had known the girl was pregnant. When she was taken ill doctors discovered she was about to give birth. The police said they will begin investigating the matter once they have been officially informed of it.
Some gardens in the Czech Republic that are not usually accessible are open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, while some that can normally be entered are running special events. The Palace Gardens beneath Prague Castle are the most important venue on the Weekend of Open Gardens, which is being held for the fourth time. By contrast, many of the Czech Republic’s parks – including 30 in Prague – are still closed to the public in the wake of recent heavy rains and flooding.
The Czech Republic drew 0:0 with Italy in a soccer World Cup qualification game in Prague on Friday night. The Czechs played relatively well but were left to regret a number of unconverted chances and failing to capitalise on numerical advantage following the sending off on 71 minutes of Italy’s Mario Balotelli. The result further reduces the Michal Bílek’s chances of reaching the competition, which takes place in Brazil next year.
The Boston Bruins, featuring Czech players Jaromír Jágr and David Krejčí, have reached the final of the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The Bruins’ 1:0 victory on Friday over the Pittsburgh Penguins – whose goaltender was another Czech, Tomáš Vokoun – gave them an unassailable 4:0 lead on games. Jágr, who joined the Bruins in April, last won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1992.
Local authorities in the Czech Republic have been told to keep flood defences in place as more rain is expected in the coming days. The order comes six days after a wave of flooding began in the country. Some people who were evacuated earlier in the week are returning to their homes, while many municipalities have begun cleanup operations and assessing the cost of the damage. However, thousands of people remain without electricity and states of alert are still in force in around a dozen places in Bohemia. Meanwhile, the number of deaths related to the floods has risen to 10.
All three of Prague’s underground rail lines are now working again, after the metro’s operators shut down the system earlier in the week for fear of flooding. However, trains are not stopping at nine stations, which remain closed. The entire system should be functioning as normal from Monday. Following catastrophic floods in 2002, in which more than a dozen stations were inundated, it took four months for the metro to return to normal.
Prague Zoo is to build a new gorilla enclosure at a higher altitude than the current one. Zoo officials reached agreement on the project with the acting mayor of Prague, Tomáš Hudeček, on Friday. Over 1,000 animals were moved from the lower part of the zoo ahead of floods this week. It was devastated by a deluge in 2002 that saw more than 100 animals die. The damage caused this week has been put at CZK 100 million, down from a previous estimate of CZK 160 million.