Pope prays for victims of Afghan earthquake

A helicopter evacuates injured people after the earthquake in Afghanistan yesterday (Vatican News)

Pope Francis said he is praying for those who have lost their lives in an earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan in the early hours of yesterday, killing more than 1000 people and injuring 1500 others. Source: Vatican News.

Speaking during his general audience yesterday, the Pope expressed his closeness to all those affected by the quake that, he said, “has claimed lives and caused extensive damage in Afghanistan.”

“And I especially pray for those who lost their lives and their families.

“I hope that with everyone's help we can alleviate the suffering of the dear people of Afghanistan.”

The powerful earthquake, the deadliest to strike the country in decades, has reportedly killed more than 950 people and injured 600 others. Officials are warning the death toll will likely rise.

The quake struck a rural, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border early in the morning, but information remains scarce on the magnitude 6.1 tremor that damaged buildings in Khost and Paktika provinces.

A spokesman for the country’s Taliban government gave no specific death toll but tweeted that hundreds of people were killed and injured in the earthquake. “We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe,” he wrote.

FULL STORY

Pope prays for victims of devastating earthquake in Afghanistan (By Linda Bordoni, Vatican News)

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