Water levels in the north-eastern part of the Czech Republic are subsiding, but many towns remain on flood alert following days of heavy rain. Dozens of people had to be evacuated from their homes on Wednesday after unexpectedly heavy rainfall led to flooding in some areas. The high alert was triggered chiefly by conditions in Ostrava, where the Ostravice river burst its banks during the day and flooded surrounding streets. The flooding also affected the towns of Bohumin, Havirov and Cesky Tesin where many people reported water in their cellars. A huge clean up operation is now underway.
The German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has welcomed the Czech government's apology for mistreating Sudeten Germans who opposed the Nazi regime and remained loyal to Czechoslovakia during WWII. In a telephone conversation with the Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, Chancellor Schroeder described it as "an act of political courage", which was much appreciated. The gesture was directed to a narrow group of Sudeten Germans who were caught up in the violent post-war expulsions despite the fact that they had actively opposed the Nazi regime and never betrayed Czechoslovakia.
The country's new Gripen fighter jets were sent out on their first mission on Thursday to help a Turkish plane which had lost radio connection with air control. The passenger plane flying from Istanbul to Hamburg was escorted by the Czech pilots to the German border, where it was taken over by German fighter jets. The Czech Republic has leased 12 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden, to replace the outdated Soviet-made Mig 21s.
Another Czech victim of last December's tsunami disaster has been identified in Thailand. The victim is a 25 year old woman from Prague. Eight Czechs perished in the tsunami disaster. Seven of them have so far been identified.
Friday is expected to be partly cloudy with day temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.
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