Strong winds outside Prague Castle (illustrative image)

Strong winds from storm Sabine leave nearly 100,000 Czech homes without power

About 96,000 households were without electricity due to strong wind all over the Czech Republic this early morning

Prague, Feb 10 (CTK) – About 96,000 households were without electricity due to strong winds all over the Czech Republic this early morning, the CEZ and E.ON power companies announced.

The situation was worst in Central Bohemia where 37,000 households are without power supplies.

CEZ spokeswoman Sona Holingerova said there were 39 defects on the high voltage lines in Central Bohemia at 07:00.

In the Karlovy Vary Region, 12 defects and 21,000 households cut off from power were registered this early morning.

E.ON spokeswoman Martina Slavikova said the company had 13 high voltage line defects after 07:00 today, all in South Bohemia.

Around noon, the number of households without electricity dropped to 65,000.

At 13:00, CEZ declared a state of emergency in the Liberec, Usti and Hradec Kralove regions, Holingerova said.

The storm has been moving eastwards.

Railways and roads were blocked by broken trees and fallen branches in many places. The Ceske drahy (CD) national railway carrier wrote on its website that two dozen railway tracks had to be closed this morning. The situation gradually improved and around 15:00 about 15 tracks were closed.

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The situation is worst in South Bohemian as no trains have been going from the region’s centre Ceske Budejovice since early morning.

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Prague international airport cancelled nine return flights today, very probably due to the strong wind, and other flights were postponed.

During the night, the Storm Sabine coming from Germany was up to 130 kilometres per hour in the Giant Mountains (Krkonose). Atop their highest peak, the Snezka mountain, the gusts were up to 180 km/h.

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMU) said on Twitter that even in the lowlands the wind was gusting at up to 100 km/h.

Meteorologist Jan Dolezal said on the CHMU’s Facebook page that the storm Sabine did not bring to Czechia as strong a wind as the hurricane Kyrill did in January 2007, but that the CHMU today measured similar speeds of wind to the Emma storm in March 2008 and Herwart in October 2017 and sometimes even higher than in these past storms.

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Some parks, cemeteries and zoos have been closed preventively.

The Liberec regional authorities recommended to parents not to send their children to school. “School operation in a limited regime will be guaranteed,” the region’s governor Martin Puta told CTK.

Czech firefighters had to deal with about 1400 incidents from midnight, which is more than ten times more than usual during a day. Their spokeswoman Nicole Studena said the situation was the worst in Central Bohemia, South Bohemia, Plzen Region, Karlovy Vary Region and Prague.

Motorway and Road Directorate spokesman Jan Rydl said the Czech motorway network has not been blocked, but drivers have problems with the gusts of wind.

The Lesy CR state-run forest management firm, which takes care of about half of the forests in the country, said the Sabine storm has damaged about one million cubic meters of wood according to preliminary estimates, Lesy CR spokeswoman Eva Jouklova told CTK.

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