The highest level three flood warnings were in force at 13 points and four
regions across the Czech Republic on Saturday afternoon. The four worst hit
regions are Plzeň, the Karlovy Vary region, Central Bohemia and the Ústí
region. Overall, water levels are mostly falling at the upper reaches of
rivers and climbing downriver.
The situation of a reservoir around 20 kilometres outside the western city of Plzeň is being closely watched. There, water levels have reached critical levels with authorities having to evacuate as much water out of the reservoir as entering it. There is a risk that even more water will have to be released causing a surge in rivers already at danger levels downstream. People were evacuated from holiday homes on the Berounka river at Černošice, west of Prague, late on Friday. A level two flood warning is expected to be declared for the capital, Prague, on Saturday as the Vltava continues to rise.
A group of architects, architectural historians and urban planners have called for a long term development plan to be drawn up for the capital city Prague. For the moment and in the recent the short term and individual aims of politicians have dominated. The call has been made by a newly created organization, For a New Prague. Copies of organisers’ call has been sent to every member of the recently formed city council. Prague citizens had the impression that everything and nothing was permitted in the capital because there were was no clear conception, the letter said.
A lesser known quarter of Prague, somewhat off the tourist beaten track is under the spotlight at Prague’s main municipal museum. The area is Libeň which was transformed from a downriver district of fields, farms and vineyards by the industrial revolution and largely made over again from the middle of the 20th century.
The well-known Prague music club and gallery Roxy has been ordered to close its doors after undergoing a check by hygiene and fire officials. Inspectors reportedly uncovered numerous potential health and safety risks, among them a lack of enough emergency exits, proper exit markings and the proper location of fire extinguishers. The entire club was shut down by Prague 1 on Tuesday morning. The club’s owners will have to apply for new construction permits and eliminate all shortcomings in order to reopen. In the past, Roxy has also been criticised by the city for not respecting closing hours, or for letting more people than was safe into the venue’s discotheque.
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday took the rare step of by-passing Congress to push through the temporary appointment of Norman Eisen to the post of US ambassador to Prague. The president was able to make the appointment for a 12 month period due to the fact that the US Congress is now in recess. Norman Eisen had worked as an assistant to the president on ethics and government reform since the beginning of his term in January of 2009. His nomination to the post of US ambassador to Prague was blocked by Republican Senator Charles Grassley in September. The post of US ambassador to Prague has been unoccupied since the departure of Richard Graber in January 2009. Analysts say the long vacancy was damaging Czech-US relations.
Hotel prices for the New Year in Prague have been upped around threefold compared with normal according to a survey by the French travel website trivago.fr. Average prices of around 77 euros a night have climbed to around 215 euros for New Year’s eve as hotels offer tailor made celebrations and cash in on the event. The price rises for Prague, of 179 percent compared with December 24, appear to be among the highest in Europe, outstripping the high increases in cities such as Edinburgh and Vienna, according to the site.
Prague City Hall is giving visitors and residents to the Czech capital a late Christmas present in the form of sports facilities free-of-charge for the duration of a week. Between December 25th and December 31st people can make use of selected sports facilities - including swimming pools, ice rinks, fitness centres, football, floorball, beach volleyball, squash, table tennis and aerobics facilities - for free. The tradition was launched three years ago and has proved extremely popular with the public. Last year over 15,000 people took up the offer.
Police in Prague arrested a 39-year-old foreign national on Wednesday night after they found 12 kilos of marihuana in his car, a police spokeswoman said. Officers stopped the man’s car for a regular check and found marihuana plants, dried marihuana leaves as well as electric fans and digital scales. The foreigner, who is already being prosecuted in another drug-related case, faces ten years in jail.
Prague’s Ruzyně Airport said operations returned to near normal on Wednesday following a series of cancellations on Tuesday due to bad weather across Europe. Three flights to London Heathrow, one of the worst hit destinations in Europe, were cancelled Wednesday but one flight was said to be still possible in the evening. More than a dozen flights out of Prague were cancelled on Tuesday due to the weather, mainly to Frankfurt, London and Brussels.
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