Pope urges relief aid for quake-stricken Peru
Pope John Paul II has expressed his sorrow for the victims of Saturday's earthquake in Peru, and appealed for international relief aid.
The Civil Defence Institute of Peru reported 71 deaths, 1178 injuries, and 61 people missing.
"Upon receiving the news of the earthquake, which has had devastating effects, especially in large areas of Peru, causing numerous victims, wounded and considerable material damages," the Holy Father sent a telegram in which he "manifests his special closeness to those affected, offering prayers for the eternal repose of the deceased and asking the Almighty to give consolation and Christian hope to all those suffering this harsh adversity."
In his message, sent to the Apostolic Nunciature in Lima, the Pope also appealed to "national and international institutions, as well as to all men of good will, to express the necessary solidarity and fraternal charity, and give speedy and effective help to overcome the tragic situation in which so many homeless families and stricken peoples find themselves."
The Pope, currently in Ukraine, expressed his "deep sympathy" to the "relatives of the deceased" and his "paternal solicitude to the wounded and those who have suffered damages, to whom he imparts his heartfelt and comforting apostolic blessing, as a sign of affection for the beloved Peruvian people."