By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his closeness in prayer to the people of the Philippines who are suffering because of the destruction and flooding caused by a strong typhoon.
The death toll from Typhoon Vamco, the deadliest to hit the Philippines this year has officially climbed to 67, while many areas remain submerged in a northern region hit by the worst flooding in more than four decades.
Speaking after the Angelus prayer, the Pope said “I express my solidarity with the poorest families who are are also the most vulnerable to this calamity,” and he offered his support to all those who are working to help them.
Six cyclones hit the Philippines in a span of just four weeks, including Vamco and Super Typhoon Goni, the world's most powerful this year.
Caritas Philippines has appealed to the government to seek international aid to help the victims.
Tragedy in Romania
Pope Francis also recalled a tragic fire that ripped through a hospital in Romania on Saturday where patients affected by coronavirus were being treated.
“I express my closeness and pray for the victims,” he said, asking those present to join him in prayer.
The fire in northeastern Romania killed 10 people and injured 10 others, seven of them critically. Officials the blaze spread through the intensive care ward designated for Covid-19 patients at the public hospital in the city of Piatra Neamt.
According to data released by Johns Hopkins University that is charting the coronavirus pandemic, Romania has registered over 350,000 infections and almost 9,000 deaths, making it one of the 20 countries with the highest mortality rate in the world.