Eight dead as torrential rain sweeps central Europe and leaves Prague under threat of flooding

At least eight people have died and at least two are missing after heavy rain caused landslides and swelled river waters to dangerously high levels

Czech officials have said the waters of the Vltava river could reach critical levels in the capital city Prague as torrential rain continued to cause chaos and claim lives across central Europe.

At least eight people have died and at least two are missing after heavy rain caused landslides and swelled river waters to dangerously high levels in three countries.

Emergency operations are under way in Germany, Austria and a state of emergency has been declared in the Czech Republic.

Czech officials said the waters of the Vltava river could reach critical levels in Prague and that special metal walls were being erected to prevent flooding.

Interim Mayor Tomas Hudecek said they were shutting down eight stations of the capital's subway network and urging people not to travel to the city.

Anticipating traffic problems, the mayor said all nursery, elementary and high schools in the Czech capital will be closed today.

In the nearby town of Trebenice where a woman was found dead in the rubble after a summer cottage collapsed due to the raging water, authorities discovered the dead body of a man, Czech public television reported. Separately, at least three other people were reportedly missing.

In Germany at least four people have died or are missing Chancellor Angela Merkel promised federal support for affected areas and said the army would be deployed if necessary.

Several cities including Chemnitz in the east, and Passau and Rosenheim in the south, issued disaster warnings.

Areas in neighbouring Austria and Switzerland have also been evacuated and rivers have burst their banks in some rural areas of south-western Poland.

Meteorologists are predicting the rainfall will ease in the coming days.

Video: Floods in Austria

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