Accessibility links

Breaking News

Germany Braces for More Floods as Czech Republic Assesses Damage

Dresden, Germany is bracing for its worst flooding in more than a century, while residents of Prague in the neighboring Czech Republic are assessing the damage already done to their city.

In Dresden, Army helicopters have flown 400 hospital patients out of reach of the advancing floods and are on standby to evacuate thousands more as the Elbe River overflows its banks.

Flood waters have already poured into historic squares and palaces whose reconstruction from the devastation of World War II had only gathered pace in the past decade, since German reunification. Thousands of works of art in the city's Zwinger Palace, home to one of Europe's great art collections, were moved out of danger as water flooded its vaults and the basement of the Semper Opera House next door.

In the Czech Republic meanwhile, Prague Mayor Igor Nemec said that while the situation has improved somewhat, it could be days before the tens of thousands of people evacuated from the city could return home.

Mr. Nemec has warned that it is still dangerous in several areas that have been swamped by surging floodwaters where close to 100 people have been killed across Central and Eastern Europe.

Similar warnings have been given elsewhere in the Czech Republic, where an estimated 200,000 people were forced to flee their homes in what has been called the biggest evacuation operation since the Second World War.

Elsewhere in Central Europe flooding also continues. In the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, the rising Danube led authorities to declare a state of emergency. Hungary is also preparing for the possibility of serious floods.

Authorities across Central and Eastern Europe have come under criticism for being slow to react to the disaster.