Residents salvage household items in Rubavu district Residents salvage household items in Rubavu district 

Pope Francis praying for flood victims in Rwanda

Pope Francis expresses his sorrow and promises prayers for the victims of heavy flooding in the western and northern provinces of Rwanda.

By Devin Watkins

Heavy rains and flooding have killed at least 130 people and destroyed over 5,000 homes in Rwanda in recent days.

In response, Pope Francis sent his condolences to those affected in a telegram addressed to the Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda, Archbishop Arnaldo Catalan.

On Thursday, Pope said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and destruction caused by the recent flooding in the western and northern provinces of Rwanda.”

Pope Francis also expressed his “spiritual closeness with all those suffering in the wake of this disaster.”

He also offered his “assurance of prayers for the dead, injured, and displaced, as well as those engaged in recovery efforts.”

The Pope wrapped up his telegram by extending his Apostolic Blessing upon all the people of Rwanda.

Situation in Rwanda’s affected areas

Rwanda’s deputy government spokesperson, Alain Mukuralinda, told reporters on Thursday that 130 deaths have been recorded since flooding began on Tuesday evening.

“There are 77 injuries, with 36 of those individuals currently in the hospital. We also have five people missing,” he said.

Over 5,100 homes have been destroyed and another 2,500 damaged, with residents in need of relocation and shelter.

Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente visited the affected areas in western Rwanda on Thursday, and said search efforts were still underway to recover missing people, adding that the death toll could rise.

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04 May 2023, 19:01