Pope prays for hurricane-struck nations

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed solidarity and prayed for Caribbean nations hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The pope on Sunday said he wanted to express his sympathy to those hit by the devastating hurricane that struck Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas “with particular violence.”

Hurricane Sandy left nearly 60 dead in the Caribbean.

The pope called on followers to show their solidarity with those suffering, and to help relieve “the pain of the victims’ relatives and offer help to the thousands of people who suffered damage.”

In his address to pilgrims after the Angelus, the pope assured all those affected by the storm of his spiritual closeness, and promised to remember the victims in prayer.

Pope Benedict asked all the faithful to pray for those affected and issued a general call for concrete acts of solidarity.

“I wish to assure you of my closeness and my recollection of those who have been affected by this natural disaster, while I invite everyone to prayer and solidarity, in order to alleviate the pain of the families of the victims and offer support to the thousands of people who have been hurt in various ways by the storm,” the pope said.

The hurricane strengthened on Monday after hundreds of thousands moved to higher ground, public transport shut down and the U.S. stock market in New York suffered its first weather-related closure in 27 years, Reuters reported.

About 50 million people from the Mid-Atlantic to Canada were in the path of the nearly 1,600-km-wide storm, which forecasters said could be the largest to hit the mainland in U.S. history.

It was expected to topple trees, damage buildings, cause power outages and trigger heavy flooding.

Nine U.S. states have declared states of emergency, and with the U.S. election eight days away President Barack Obama canceled a campaign event in Florida on Monday in order to return to Washington and monitor the U.S. government’s response to the storm.


News category: World.

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