A state of emergency has been declared in the Czech Republic as swollen rivers - caused by heavy rain - are threatening to damage Prague's historic centre.

At least two people have died and many have been forced to evacuate from low-lying areas as water from the Vltava River continues to overflow into the city.

Motorways, train stations and railway lines have all been closed and many people are experiencing power cuts.

In Prague, rescue workers, aided by the army, have set up flood barriers for the first time since the devastating floods of 2002. Hospitals, retirement homes and cultural institutions as well as the zoo are being evacuated across the city. 

The flooding partially damaged half of the 51 metro stations in Prague, with 17 of them submerged, local media Ceskenoviny reports adding that the total damage was put at 73 billion Czech Koruna (about $4 billion) , 27 billion (about $1,5 billion) of which in Prague only.

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