June 2, 2010 / 5:40 PM / 9 years ago

New floods in central Europe, at least two dead

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Heavy rains triggered new floods in central Europe on Wednesday, killing at least two people in the Czech Republic and forcing thousands from their homes in Slovakia and Hungary.

A child looks out from behind a fence in a flooded street in Gant, 70km (43.5 miles) west of Budapest, June 1, 2010. Heavy rains caused a reservoir to swell, flooding parts of the village. REUTERS/Arpad Kurucz

Flooding around the region in the past month has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and killed 18 in Poland. Meteorologists expect rains to keep up until the weekend in parts of central Europe.

Officials called a state of emergency in the southeast of the Czech Republic and one man died when his car crashed after hydroplaning on a flooded street, police said.

A second body was found near a creek and Czech police were investigating whether the death was flood-related. CTK news agency reported a third death from drowning.

Officials said rising water levels around dams were also becoming a landslide threat.

“There is a real threat of overflowing of unregulated streams, reservoirs and the threat of landslides on people’s dwellings,” a spokesman in the region of Zlin, bordering Slovakia, said on the region’s website.

Slovak police were also investigating the death of a 38-year-old man and searching for another man who fell into a river.

Prime Minister Robert Fico canceled a government meeting on Wednesday to visit flood-hit regions, with the worst of the flooding in the east of the country.

Renewed rains led to rising river levels and flash floods in neighboring Hungary, causing the evacuation of some 2,000 people in the northern town of Paszto.

Croatia declared a state of emergency in fertile eastern parts of the country and sent several hundred firemen and military personnel to help the population fight floods which prompted evacuation of people and cattle from some villages, while a number of roads were closed.

Reporting by Robert Mueller in Prague, Martin Santa in Bratislava, Krisztina Than in Budapest and Igor Ilic in Zagreb; writing by Jason Hovet

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