Pope Francis expresses his condolences for the victims of a deadly earthquake in Nepal, and prays for Afghans who have taken refuge in neighboring Pakistan.
By Devin Watkins
An earthquake struck northwestern Nepal on Friday night, killing at least 157 people and damaging thousands of homes.
Pope Francis expressed his sorrow for the deadly quake as he prayed the Angelus on Sunday.
“I am close to the people of Nepal who are suffering due to an earthquake,” he said.
The Pope also recalled the many people from Afghanistan who have sought refuge in Pakistan, but “who now do not know where to go.”
He then prayed for the victims of fierce storms and flooding in Europe, including in Italy.
Villages cut off in Nepal
The 5.6-magnitude earthquake affected several villages in Nepal’s Jajarkot district, a mostly agricultural area in the northwestern part of the country.
The quake triggered landslides in various areas, impeding rescue efforts, and could be felt as far away as New Delhi, India’s capital, which is around 800 kilometers away.
Several roads were blocked and many mountainous villages could only be reached on foot.
Many local residents have been left homeless and have spent the last couple of nights in tents.
Media reports said soldiers were seeking to clear the roads.
Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha said Saturday that the government is working to deliver aid to the affected areas.