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German, Czech floods begin to recede

Authorities in the German city of Dresden have warned residents to expect a sustained flood period after the worst torrents to hit the region in a decade. Water levels remained critical on Thursday as large parts of the historic city were inundated following days of flooding. But the situation had improved in other parts of the region affected by flood waters. The eastern city of Halle seems to have passed the worst, with local authorities saying that the water was slowly receding. The state of emergency will remain in place but residents seemed optimistic. (SOUNDBITE) (German) RESIDENT OF HALLE'S NEUSTADT DISTRICT, FRIEDRICH ALLERT, SAYING: "The worst seems to be over. They put up a second dam in front of the first one yesterday and now we are very hopeful." In the Czech Republic too, life is slowly beginning to return to normal. The Prague public zoo has reopened after closing due to rising water levels for the first time since 2002.

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