by Staff Writers
Prague (AFP) June 10, 2013
Czech farmers said Monday that floods that have destroyed huge amounts of crops would cost the sector $100 million, around half the bill for the 2002 "flood of the century".
"On the whole, we expect the damage in the farm sector may rise to about two billion koruna (78 million euros, $103 million)," farmers' chamber head Jan Veleba told reporters.
The Czech Republic has borne the brunt of the human cost of flooding that has struck central Europe over the past week, with a body found in a river Monday bringing the death toll to 11.
In 2011, overall Czech farm production amounted to 119 billion koruna, according to data from the Czech Statistical Office.
Veleba said 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) of farmland had been flooded, without giving a comparative figure for the far more extensive 2002 flooding that killed 17 people across the country.
Damage to the farm sector in 2002 amounted to 3.6 billion koruna.
Agriculture Minister Petr Bendl meanwhile estimated damage to water management facilities, including dams and weirs, at 2.2 billion koruna.
The water levels of Prague's Vltava river reached 7.8 metres (25.6 feet) in 2002, a third higher than the 5.4-metre crest that swept through the capital on June 4.
The flooding, which has forced more than 19,000 Czechs out of their homes this year and also left five people missing, has also hit Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Switzerland.
The massive 2002 flood saw 200,000 people evacuated and caused an estimated 3.7 billion euros in overall damage in the Czech Republic.
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