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Evacuations as floods hit Central Europe

Evacuations as floods hit Central Europe
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Prague is bracing itself for the worst, as the Vltava river threatens to flood the historic centre. Rainfall across Central Europe is showing no sign of stopping.

Over the weekend rising waters killed five in the Czech Republic, which is suffering from some of the worst flooding in a decade. The government has declared a state of emergency in response.

The capital last saw similar floods in 2002 which killed 17 and caused some 20 billion euros damage.

Tourist hot spots like the Charles Bridge normally bustling with visitors were closed.

The metro system was shut down and thousands have been evacuated from low-lying areas.

In Austria one clean-up worker was killed in a mudslide and two are missing after being swept into fast-flowing waters.

Over 300 people were moved from their homes as the army and civil authorities worked to clear landslides and reconnect roads.

Parts of the Pinzgau region have been declared a disaster zone.

Shipping was stopped along the Danube and Rhine rivers through Germany due to the high waters.

A state of emergency was declared in Passau which lies where three rivers meet. Authorities are saying that the water has reached record levels.

The interior minister flew to the affected areas on Monday. The government response to the emergency could affect nationwide elections in September.

The flood danger could travel down the Danube to threaten other cities which lie along its route. In Hungary the capital Budapest is built along its banks. Four hundred people are working on defences.