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Pope Francis: Libya needs our solidarity

Pope Francis renews his call for the international community to help the people of Libya, who have been devastated by violent rains that have caused flooding, resulting in more than 5,000 deaths and widespread destruction.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis has again appealed for the international community to come to the aid of hard-hit Libya, saying suffering people need our continued solidarity.

During his remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims at the conclusion of his Wednesday General Audience, the Pope said, “My thoughts go to the people of Libya, hard hit by violent rains that have caused flooding and inundation, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as extensive damage.”

The Holy Father invited all the faithful to join him in praying for those who have lost their lives, their families and those who have been displaced.

My thoughts go to the people of Libya, hard hit by violent rains that have caused flooding and inundation, causing numerous deaths and injuries, as well as extensive damage. I invite you to join my prayer for those who have lost their lives, their families and the displaced. Please do not fail in our solidarity with these brothers and sisters tried so hard by this calamity

“Please do not fail in our solidarity with these brothers and sisters tried so hard by this calamity,” he insisted.

“Please do not fail in our solidarity with these brothers and sisters tried so hard by this calamity.”

Thousands confirmed dead

According to Reuters news agency, the desperate search for thousands of people missing after catastrophic flooding continues, with more than 5,300 confirmed dead. The death toll is expected to rise dramatically.

A powerful storm, which burst dams nearby, had caused the flood, unleashing a torrent of water that devastated a quarter or more of the Mediterranean city of Derna, washing away buildings along with their residents.

Some 10,000 people are estimated to be missing, and many are believed to have been swept out to sea.

Continued closeness, prayers

On Tuesday, the Pope sent a telegram of condolences signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the Apostolic Nuncio to Libya, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, for the people of Libya.

The Pope said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the immense loss of life and destruction”, and assured those affected of his “prayers for the souls of the deceased and all who mourn their loss.”

In that message, 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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