The high winds that battered the Czech Republic on Sunday are dying down and life in the country is slowly returning to normal.Several hundred thousand households were still without power on Monday morning and trains are not running along 22 routes that remain blocked by fallen trees.
Two people were killed by falling trees on Sunday and people have been warned not to venture into forests or wooded areas since many trees undermined by the hurricane-force winds could still fall. The material damage is expected to reach billions of crowns.
Material damage in forest and woodlands is being tabulated in the Krkonoše Mountains, where strong winds on Sunday damaged thousands of cubic metres of wood in the form of snapped branches and falling trees. Damage was made worse because soil was already saturated from extensive rainfall.
Locals as well as tourists have been warned not to enter forest areas until areas are stabilised. On Sunday, wind at the Czech Republic’s highest peak, Snežka, hit a speed of 180 kilometres per hour. On Monday, some sites, such as Prague Zoo, remained closed.
The Pirates party has said it will support Radek Vondráček from the ANO party for the post of chairman of the Chamber of Deputies. Party leader Ivan Bartoš said the move was in recognition of ANO’s resounding victory in October’s general elections.
The party has proposed its own deputy chair Vojtech Pikal for the post of deputy chairman of the lower house. The Pirates have likewise expressed interest in chairing the security committee in the Chamber of Deputies.
The Social Democrats have said they will not field their own candidate in the presidential election to be held in January 2018. Five years ago, during the first direct presidential elections in the Czech Republic, the party backed candidate Jiří Dienstbier, who finished fourth in the first round – behind Jan Fischer, Karel Schwarzenberg and the eventual winner, Miloš Zeman.
Earlier this year, the Social Democrats had hinted they might put forward their own nominee. Other parties that will not field candidates in the upcoming election include ANO, the Christian Democrats and TOP 09.
The party for Freedom and Direct Democracy’s leader Tomio Okamura has not ruled out his own bid, which he will decide after November 6.
Ďuričko freed after serving two-thirds of sentence The regional court in Karviné has freed Bohumir Ďuričko, a former businessman serving 12.5 years in prison for the murder of Václav Kočka, jr in 2008, based on the recommendation of the state prosecutor. Mr Ďuřicko and his lawyer filed the request having served two-thirds of his sentence.
The prosecutor backed the proposal providing Mr Ďuričko would abstain from alcohol and other factors. Ďuričko will remain on probation for a period of seven years.
In 2008, the businessman shot and killed Václav Kočka, jr at a Prague bar following a personal argument, hours after the venue had hosted a book-signing by then-Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek. The deceased’s father was in court on Monday; he expressed regret, he said, that the "justice system had decided as it had".
Czech veteran forward Jaromír Jágr did not play in the Calgary Flames 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday although he did skate with the team in practice and Flames’ coach Glen Gulutzan describer the player’s status as day-to-day. The Flames’ next match is against Pittsburgh on Thursday this week.
Mostly cloudy conditions with a chance of rain are expected on Tuesday. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 7 degrees Celsius.