Czech Republic

Floods Paralyze Prague

Swollen Vltava

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Prague is bracing for the swollen Vltava River to crest today as the Czech government deploys hundreds of soldiers to avert a repeat of the 2002 floods that destroyed neighborhoods and caused $1.2 billion in damage.

Five people have died and thousands have been evacuated in the Czech Republic, while parts of Prague's historic city center have been flooded since yesterday. Promenades lining the river that bisects the capital are below water, submerging benches, playgrounds and trees. The government called a state of emergency in seven regions, including Prague, and pledged $15 million in relief aid. Prague's transport authorities shut subway routes, while City Hall said people should refrain from driving to work and ordered schools to close today.

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