Tragic flooding causes death and destruction in Libya Tragic flooding causes death and destruction in Libya 

Pope Francis 'deeply saddened' for loss of life, destruction in Libya

Pope Francis expresses his profound sorrow for the thousands of people feared dead and the massive destruction caused by devastating flooding in Libya, reassuring all affected of his prayers and closeness.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis was "deeply saddened to learn of the immense loss of life and destruction caused by the flooding in the eastern part of Libya".

The Pope assured those affected of his "prayers for the souls of the deceased and all who mourn their loss."

He sent his condolences to the people of Libya in a telegram signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and sent to the Apostolic Nuncio to Libya, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai.

Devastating storm

According to Reuters news agency, Storm Daniel barrelled across the Mediterranean into Libya, wiping out about a quarter of the country's eastern city of Derna, after dams burst in a storm.

At least 1,000 bodies had already been recovered in the city of Derna alone, and officials expect the death toll may rise much higher.

The Red Cross has said 10,000 people are feared to be missing across the country in floods.

Pope's spiritual closeness

In his telegram, the Holy Father expressed his "heartfelt spiritual closeness" to the injured, to those who fear for their missing loved ones, and to the emergency personnel providing rescue and relief assistance. 

Pope Francis invoked divine blessings of consolation, strength and perseverance upon all affected by the tragedy.

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12 September 2023, 13:13