Prague on high alert
The tourist hotspot of Prague is on high alert over fears that its historic centre could become flooded.
Officials fear the waters of the Vltava river, which passes through the city, could reach critical levels as torrential rain continues to cause chaos across central Europe.
Some of the city’s subway network has been shut down and special metal walls are being erected to prevent the flooding.
People are being urged not to travel to the city, which is a popular short break destination for British holidaymakers.
Officials are hoping that flood defences and banks of sandbags erected after flooding in 2002 will prevent major damage.
At risk is the 14th Century Charles Bridge, now closed, and other historic buildings close to the river bank.
Last night it was believed the situation would improve as the rain eased, but then the Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas announced that a decision had been made to open a system of nine dams called the Vltava Cascade, which had become dangerously full and the Vltava river started to rise again.
The 2002 floods caused major damage to the Prague Metro, its Municipal Library, National Theatre and its Jewish Quarter.
According to the BBC, Prague Zoo, also devastated in 2002, is already reporting substantial damage But, unlike last time, all animals have been successfully evacuated.
The Czech Republic has declared a state of emergency and parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland have also been evacuated.
The floods have killed at least seven people in the Czech Republic and two in neighbouring Austria. Others are missing.
Many roads across the region have been closed and rail services cancelled. Thousands have had to flee their homes while others have been left without electricity.
River cruise operators have cancelled cruises in affected areas.
Viking River Cruises has cancelled cruises from Budapest to Nuremberg and Passau to Budapest on June 9 and is changing other itineraries.
Avalon Waterways has also cancelled three cruises and is monitoring the situation.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013