On Tuesday evening, intense storms hit the Karlovy Vary and the western part of Plzeň regions, causing severe flooding and landslides. According to meteorologists, almost 50 mm of rain fell in some areas within the last three hours. The city center of Karlovy Vary was among the most brutal hit, with streets flooded and fallen trees blocking roads. Some areas experienced hailstones as large as two centimeters in diameter.
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute reported that the storms were almost stationary, which could cause intense precipitation and flooding in some areas. The Karlovy Vary fire brigade responded to over 20 emergency calls related to the storm, primarily for fallen trees and flooded areas. Divadelní náměstí, the city’s historic square, was among the areas affected by the floods.
In addition to Karlovy Vary, the storm affected other parts of the western Czech Republic. In Údolí u Lokte, landslides caused rocks to fall onto the road. Meanwhile, in Sokolov, the canal system could not handle the volume of water, causing flooding in the streets.
Meteorologists had warned about the possibility of such storms in the western Czech Republic earlier on Tuesday. The storms are a reminder of the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.
Residents and visitors in the affected areas described the storm as a terrifying experience. “It started to pour down, and hailstones came down as well,” said a man walking 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 damage caused by the storm is still being assessed, and authorities are working to clear debris and restore normalcy to the affected areas.