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BERLIN (Sputnik) – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday that efforts to fight climate change must be intensified as floods continue to ravage the country’s west and other parts of Europe.

“Only if we decisively take up the fight against climate change, we will be able to keep the extreme weather conditions that we are currently experiencing under certain control”, Steinmeier said in an address to citizens, published on Facebook.

On Wednesday, the president contacted by phone the authorities of the two most affected federal states, namely, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, and pledged to personally visit these areas “at the appropriate time” to talk to the victims, as well as volunteers taking part in rescue operations.

Heavy rainfall and floodwater have collapsed houses in western Germany, killing nearly 60 people since Monday.