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Pope Francis Offers Condolences and Prayers for Morocco Earthquake Victims
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Just a day after sending a heartfelt telegram conveying his condolences, Pope Francis publicly expressed his sorrow and sympathy for the thousands of individuals affected by a devastating earthquake that struck central Morocco.
Photo credit: Angelo Giordano
The earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, occurred on a fateful Friday night in the mountainous region southwest of Marrakesh, resulting in extensive damage and widespread destruction.
During the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis conveyed his deep care and concern for the people of Morocco. He offered his heartfelt condolences to the "dear Moroccan people" who had endured the devastating quake. In his prayers, he remembered those who had been injured and the many lives lost, extending his thoughts to the grieving families.
The Pope also took a moment to acknowledge and express his gratitude for the dedicated rescue workers and individuals working tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of those affected. He appealed for collective support and concrete aid to help the people of Morocco during this tragic period.
Pope Francis invited people from all walks of life to stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco, emphasizing the importance of being there for one another during such trying times.
As rescue efforts continue in the aftermath of the earthquake, teams are tirelessly searching for survivors amidst the rubble. The latest reports indicate that at least 2,012 individuals have lost their lives, and 2,059 others have been injured as a result of Friday's catastrophic earthquake.
The Moroccan army managed to clear one of the key roads leading to the earthquake's epicenter, facilitating the much-needed flow of essential assistance to affected areas. Landslides had previously blocked the route to the Atlas Mountains. To support the ongoing rescue and relief operations, the Red Cross has pledged $1.1 million from their Disaster Response Emergency Fund.
Drone footage has provided a stark visual of ancient villages near Marrakech reduced to rubble, highlighting the scale of the devastation. Relief organizations stress the critical importance of the first three days following a natural disaster, as this period is vital for locating survivors.
Amidst ongoing fears of aftershocks, many individuals have opted to stay outdoors, seeking refuge on the streets or in open fields. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that over 300,000 people in Marrakesh and its surrounding areas have been directly affected by the earthquake.
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