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Rescue worker dies, several thousand evacuated in southern Germany floods

A firefighter died while trying to rescue trapped residents and several thousand people were forced to leave their homes as heavy rain caused flooding in southern Germany.

The 42-year-old man who died was in a rescue boat carrying four firefighters that capsized late on Saturday.

His body was recovered early on Sunday, said a spokesperson for the Bavarian town of Pfaffenbach an der Ilm, around 50 km (30 miles) north of Munich.

Municipalities had days to prepare for the flooding but around 3,000 people had to be evacuated in southern Germany as the water cut off some areas, authorities said.

“We owe our thanks and respect to the rescue workers and helpers who are battling the consequences of the floods in many places,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on X.

Scholz is scheduled to travel to the region on Monday, where he will meet with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Bavaria’s premier mid-morning local time to get an overview, a government spokesperson said.

Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck pledged support for the affected regions during a visit on Sunday and noted that climate change is causing more severe weather events.

“Natural disasters have always accompanied mankind. What we are seeing is that the frequency of these events is increasing significantly. Record floods occur every few years … record rainfall every few years,” Habeck, of the Greens Party, told broadcaster n-tv.

Parts of Europe were hit by major flooding in 2021 that killed nearly 200, with Germany bearing the brunt.

The disaster was largely blamed on the consequences of climate change and prompted calls for stricter warning and safety measures.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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