Heavy rainfall and floodwater destroyed houses in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, killing some 58 people, according to German media. Dozens more are unaccounted for. German Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz noted that the extreme weather was the result of climate change.
"On Thursday evening, a telegram was sent through the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin to the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Franz-Walter Steinmeier. The telegram says Pope Francis was 'deeply affected' on learning 'the news of the severe storm and floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate,'" the Holy See said in a statement.
It added that the pontiff is praying for all those who have been wounded, are still missing, and whose property has been damaged.