VATICAN CITY, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI called for prayers and appealed for supporting and helping the victims of last Sunday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey.
“At this time, our thoughts turn to the people of Turkey hard hit by the earthquake, which has caused heavy loss of life, many missing and extensive damage,” Pope Benedict stated during his general audience in Vatican City’s Paul VI Hall on October 26.
“I invite you to join me in prayer for those who have lost their lives and to be spiritually close to the many people who have been sorely tried. May the Almighty support all those engaged in rescue work,” he further added.
Among the victims, 461 people died and 1,350 have been injured in the Van region of Turkey. The said earthquake had a 7.2 magnitude, the Associated Press reported. The deadly earthquake in Turkey destroyed many infrastructures and left many people without homes or afraid to return to their damaged houses.
Furthermore, it has been reported that at least 20,000 tents have been sent to the earthquake-afflicted zone, where the temperature drops below zero at night.
Caritas Turkey also reported that the said earthquake was “very severe” and that the location is not easily accessible. The Catholic organization has already sent 1,200 sleeping bags for the refugees. It further plans to send coats, blankets, plastic sheeting and other items that would be needed.
The government of Turkey originally stated that the country could handle the disaster alone, however, it has now asked 30 other neighboring countries, of which included Israel, for emergency supplies such as prefabricated tents, housing, and containers for the earthquake victims.
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