Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Rescuers work amid the rubble at Shiyuan village following the quake (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis says he is “close with affection and prayer” to the people of China’s Gansu and Qinghai provinces, after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake on Monday. Source: Vatican News.

At the end of his weekly General Audience yesterday, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the victims of the deadly earthquake.

“I turn my thoughts”, he said, “to the victims and those injured in the devastating earthquake that struck the Chinese provinces of Gansu and Quinghai on Monday.”

“I am close with affection and prayer to the suffering people,” the Pope continued. “I encourage the emergency services, and invoke the blessing of the blessing of the Almighty upon all, so that He might bring comfort and relief in their sorrow.”

At least 130 people died in the earthquake, which struck just before midnight on Monday.

As well as those killed and missing, more than 700 people were injured, roads were damaged and power and communication lines in the provinces were knocked out.

As emergency workers searched the rubble for survivors, at least one landslide hindered operations, while those left homeless were forced to spend a cold winter night in tents at hastily erected evacuation sites.

The earthquake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres in Gansu’s Jishishan county, close to the provincial boundary with Qinghai.

There were nine aftershocks about 10 hours after the initial earthquake, and rescue authorities issued an appeal for 300 additional workers for search and rescue operations.


Pope prays for victims of earthquake in China (By Joseph Tulloch and Linda Bordoni, Vatican News)