Prague: The Czech capital Prague was on high flood alert on Monday with businesses shut and transport coming to a halt after torrential rains left at least six people dead and forced thousands from their homes across central Europe.
       
Czech rescue crews were searching for four others believed to have died in the flooding which cut power to tens of thousands of households across the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.
       
The heavy rainfall has triggered nightmarish memories of devastating floods that killed dozens in the region in 2002.
       
In the Czech Republic, the government declared a state of emergency Sunday, deploying 2,000 troops in its rescue drive as five people died, several were missing and over 6,000 evacuated from their homes, officials said.
       
"We register five people who have died in relation to the flood. We are also looking for another four people believed to have died because of the flooding," police spokeswoman said, adding that the missing people were out in canoes.
       
Two people died in a collapsed summer house south of Prague and three men drowned in rivers or drains in different parts of the country.
       
The Czech capital was under water today, with metro stations and schools shut as the Vltava river rose, flooding parts of the historic city centre.
       
Thousands of households were hit with power outages while fallen trees snarled rail traffic across western regions.
       
 Flooding also deluged neighbouring Germany and Austria, killing at least one person there.
       
Two were reported missing and hundreds were also evacuated as landslides threatened their homes, mostly around the western Austrian city of Salzburg bordering Germany and in the north.
       
Austrian authorities warned the Danube and the Inn rivers could surpass levels from 2002, when the country suffered its last major flooding which caused up to 7.5 billion euros (USD 9.8 billion) in damage.

(Agencies)

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