- Hans Weber
- November 29, 2023
Intense Storms Unleash Severe Flooding and Landslides in Karlovy Vary and Plzeň Regions
On Tuesday evening, a series of intense storms swept through the Karlovy Vary and western part of the Plzeň regions, resulting in significant flooding and landslides. Meteorological data indicates that certain areas received nearly 50 mm of rain within a span of three hours. Karlovy Vary’s city center bore the brunt of the onslaught, with streets submerged and fallen trees obstructing roadways. The storm’s fury was exacerbated by hailstones measuring up to two centimeters in diameter.
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute issued reports indicating that the storms remained almost stationary, exacerbating the risk of intense precipitation and flooding in affected regions. In response to the emergency, the Karlovy Vary fire brigade fielded more than 20 calls for assistance, primarily related to fallen trees and inundated areas. Among the afflicted sites was Divadelní náměstí, the historic square of the city.
Beyond Karlovy Vary, the storm unleashed its force upon other parts of the western Czech Republic. Landslides in Údolí u Lokte resulted in rocks tumbling onto roadways, while in Sokolov, the canal system struggled to manage the deluge, causing street flooding.
Meteorologists had issued prior warnings about the likelihood of such storms impacting the western Czech Republic earlier in the day. The incident underscores the importance of proactive preparedness in the face of natural disasters.
Eyewitness accounts from residents and visitors in the affected regions portrayed the storm as a harrowing experience. “It started to pour down, and hailstones came down as well,” recounted a man who was with his family in Karlovy Vary. “We ran to the nearest shop, but they closed their doors electronically because water started coming in. We watched the devastation outside. It was something terrible.”
The extent of damage caused by the storm is still under assessment, and authorities are diligently working to clear debris and restore normalcy to the impacted areas. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather and the necessity of robust emergency response measures to mitigate the consequences of such events.
Article by Prague Forum