Image: Woman pushes bicycle through flooded Czech street
Petr David Josek  /  AP
The floods in Central Europe have inundated towns like Jesenik nad Odrou, Czech Republic, seen here on Thursday, and are blamed for the deaths of several people.
updated 6/25/2009 11:43:01 AM ET 2009-06-25T15:43:01

Flooding in the eastern Czech Republic after heavy rains has killed at least 10 people, Prime Minister Jan Fischer and officials said Thursday.

Fischer said five people drowned while four others died of health problems while rescuers were struggling to reach them.

The four all had heart problems, rescue authorities said.

Another man drowned in the town of Novy Jicin, police spokeswoman Miroslava Salkova said later Thursday.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated throughout the region and a number of roads and railway lines, including a major track that connects the capital Prague with the eastern Czech Republic and Poland, have been closed as rivers flood their banks.

The country's security council and the government met Thursday to assess the situation. Fischer expressed his sympathy to the people in the affected area.

He said up to 1,000 soldiers will be deployed to help.

Meteorologists expect thunderstorms in the region later in the day but they are not expected to cause more damage.

"There's no imminent danger," Fischer said. "The situation is under control."

The situation remained tense in neighboring Austria Thursday, where driving rain over the past few days caused major flooding in northern, central and eastern parts of the country.

While the water levels of a number of rivers dropped overnight as the downpours diminished, authorities warned that thunderstorms and sporadic showers could cause more problems.

Austria, Poland hit as well
Thousands of firefighters and other rescue crews continued to drain buildings and soaked streets throughout the affected regions. In some places, such as the Medieval town of Steyr in Upper Austria province, cleanup efforts were under way after the water began receding.

Video: Swamped In the capital Vienna, the famed Albertina museum began evacuating its storage facility — filled with 950,000 pieces of priceless art — as a precaution after traces of humidity were detected.

In southern Poland, heavy rains flooded rail tracks, forcing the closure of the station in Czechowice-Dziedzice, a town south of the coal mining center of Katowice.

The nearby major national road was also temporarily closed after the Wisla river overflowed.

Firefighters were pumping water from hundreds of flooded basements of private houses, offices and hospitals in the south and also in the city of Olsztyn, in the north.

More on Czech Republic   |  Austria

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Photos: Deadly floods swamp Central Europe

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  1. Flooding in Kunin, Czech Republic, left this car on a castle garden on Thursday, June 25. (Drahoslav Ramik / Isifa via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The Odra River in Jesenik nad Odrou, Czech Republic, overflows its banks on Thursday. (Trestik Jan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Two residents of St. Leonard am Forst, Austria, clean their belongings Thursday after severe flooding in the town about 60 miles southwest of Vienna. (Leonhard Foeger / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Flood debris is cleaned up in Emmersdorf, Austria, on Thursday. The Melk Abbey is seen in the background. (Leonhard Foeger / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A woman in Jesenik nad Odrou, Czech Republic, cries Thursday after learning that her six horses drowned in overnight flooding. (Petr Josek / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Residents of Jesenik nad Odrou dry out their soaked belongings on Thursday. (Petr Josek / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Rescuers evacuate a woman from her flooded house in Jesenik nad Odrou on Thursday. (Petr Josek / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Residents of Hatzendorf, Austria, clean up Thursday. (Markus Leodolter / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Hungary also saw flooding, including this scene Wednesday in the town of Koeszeg. (Andrea Gerencser / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Crews deploy sandbags in the center of Hatzendorf, Austria, on Wednesday. (Markus Leodolter / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A house is mirrored in the flooded streets of Weissenkirchen, Austria, on Wednesday. (Stringer/austria / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Heavy rain caused street flooding in Nis, Serbia, on Wednesday. (Sasa Djordjevic / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Raging floodwaters cut through Steyr, Austria, on Wednesday. (Herwig Prammer / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Sandbags protected this building in Melk, Austria, on Wednesday. (Paul Plutsch / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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