Prague Underwater: new book on catastrophic floods of 2002

04-08-2003

Almost a year ago, the Czech Republic made headlines around the world when it was hit by the worst flooding in hundreds of years. To mark the anniversary, a new book of photographs of the devastation caused by the floods has been published. The book's called Prague Underwater, and among the photographers who contributed to it was Jitka Podzimkova, of Radio Prague's Internet department.

"It was clear that something very bad would happen. Me and my friend were on our way to work by car, and I had a camera on me. The river was so full of water! This was Monday morning, August 12th. I asked my friend to stop the car, and I walked along the river, taking lots of photos. Then I decided to create photo galleries of these photos, because I felt that this is what I had to do at that moment. I'm a web editor - something like a journalist - and I really felt it was necessary to document what was happening."

Show me some of the photos that you took in this book.

"For example, here - this one."

Prague Underwater, photo: Jitka PodzimkovaPrague Underwater, photo: Jitka Podzimkova This is a river port isn't it? This is where the boats usually draw up to take on tourists for tours down the river. It's completely underwater.

"It was really completely underwater. All you could see was a sign saying this is a port for a boat called 'Europe'. And it was like a symbol - that a part of Europe was in crisis. I think this picture is really a symbol of the situation. I took photos from the right bank of the Vltava. You can see people on the bank watching the river, they're waiting. They don't know what to do and what's going to happen."

The book, called "Prague Underwater", is published by Vitalis. At present it's only available in Czech and German.

04-08-2003