Czech weekend headlines: Record high temperatures lead to flood warnings

Plus: Gas imports from Russia to Czechia reach zero in January, four dead in wake of fire in Ústí nad Labem, and more weekend headlines

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 18.02.2023 10:00:00 (updated on 19.02.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Weather Record high temperatures in Czechia lead to flood warnings

Masopust celebrations were greeted by record-high temperatures throughout many locations across the Czech Republic, reports the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI). About 25 percent of measuring stations across the country recorded record highs for February 18, with the Klementinum station in Prague measuring 16 degrees Celsius.

Due to the increasing temperatures, snow has begun to melt at areas of high elevation in the country at a rapid pace. A first-level flood alert has been issued in a handful of locations across the country, but meteorologists expect the situation to stabilize today. A warning for strong winds remains in effect throughout most areas of the country until 6:00 p.m. this evening.

Energy Gas imports from Russia to Czechia reach zero in January

Gas imports from Russia to the Czech Republic dropped to zero in January, with the country replacing Russian gas with alternatives from Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium, according to Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela. During previous years, the share of Russian gas imports to the Czech Republic was around 97 percent.

"Since the termination of deliveries via the Nord Stream gas pipeline, gas from Russia can only flow to us through Slovakia," says Síkela. "And only 2.2 percent of total imports flowed from there from last September to the end of January. In January, it wasn't even a cubic meter. We can make do with gas supplies via Germany."

War Czechia has donated CZK 4.8 billion in military material to Ukraine

The Czech Republic has donated unused military material valued at CZK 4.8 billion to Ukraine, David Jareš from the Czech Ministry of Defense told Czech News Agency this weekend. Czech arms manufacturers have sent weapons valued at more than CZK 50 to Ukraine since the Russian invasion last year, Jareš added. Both the United States and European Union have pledged to compensate the Czech Republic for its donations.

"The approach of the West must be unified and effective," says Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová. "This means that our collective aid to Ukraine will not only continue, but that we will speed it up and increase it, whether it is the supply of ammunition, spare parts or equipment repairs." For security and tactical reasons, the state does not specify the extent of the aid it has supplied to Ukraine.

Fire Four dead in wake of fire in Ústí nad Labem

Four people were found dead in the aftermath of a fire at a garden cabin in Ústí nad Labem on Saturday, police have revealed on social media. The cause of their deaths and the source of the fire is currently being investigated, and police have yet to reveal the identities of the deceased.

Yesterday afternoon, police spokesperson Veronika Hyšplerová told reporters that the deceased were two adults and two children. Firefighters were alerted to a fire at the location at around 8:00 a.m., and four firefighting units managed to extinguish the blaze by 9:40 a.m.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Wildlife Common pochard named Czech Bird of the Year 2023

The common pochard, a medium-sized water-based duck, has been named Czech Bird of the Year for 2023, the Czech Society for Ornithology has announced. The Bird of the Year award has been granted by the society since 1992 in efforts to raise awareness for particular species in the Czech Republic, and aid in efforts to monitor and protect them.

The common pochard is the second-most-common species of duck in the Czech Republic after the mallard. They need wetlands with small islands and reeds to make their home, which are becoming increasingly rare in the country. While the common pochard has been a globally endangered species since 2015, they are still hunted for game in the Czech Republic.

Earthquake Czech rescuers return from Turkey

The Czech rescue team that helped search locations in Turkey for survivors of last week's devastating earthquake has returned to Prague. The rescuers assisted in saving three people from under collapsed buildings, and retrieved a total of 78 bodies from beneath the rubble.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala thanked the rescuers through social media upon their arrival. At Prague's Václav Havel Airport, they were greeted on their return by Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan and Turkey's Ambassador to the Czech Republic. The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria on February 6 now stands at 44,000.

Traffic Two dead in accident on D1 highway

Traffic on the D1 highway near Brno was at a standstill on Saturday morning after an accident that has resulted in the deaths of two people, Czech police report this morning. The accident, which involved a truck and a van with a trailer, occurred at the 131-kilometer marker in the direction of Brno, in the town of Měřín in the Czech Republic's Vysočina Region.

The truck involved in the accident caught fire, with firefighters reporting to the scene to extinguish it. The accident occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m., fire brigade spokesperson Petra Musilová told reporters. Traffic in the direction of Brno is currently directed to a detour off the highway; traffic towards Prague was also briefly halted, but has since resumed.

Crime Czech man gets 12 years for killing teacher with machete

Prague's Municipal Court sentenced Jaroslav Řehák to 12 years in prison for the murder of his teacher last March at a vocational school in the Czech capital's Michle neighborhood. Řehák, who was 19 years old at the time of the murder, confessed to the crime in court, telling a judge that he killed his 74-year-old teacher with a machete because he humiliated him in class.

Řehák was charged with premeditated murder, which carries a sentence of 12 to 20 years in prison. He received the lower end of this range due to his confession and diminished mental capacity. "However, he is an adult, he is not insane, he is therefore criminally responsible and everything that has been said in his favor has been taken into account," said judge Tome Frankič.

Foreign Czech skier dies in Italy's Dolemite mountains

A 20-year-old Czech skier has been found dead in the Italian Dolomites. Rescuers located his body on Thursday afternoon, writes the local news site Il Dolomiti. The cause of his death are currently being investigated; it is not yet clear whether he was involved in a skiing accident or other factors led to his death.

According to Il Dolomiti, the Czech man was reported missing earlier on Thursday by members of the group he was traveling with when he did not show up at an agreed meeting place. His body was found later that afternoon near the village of Aurenzo di Cadore.

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