Pope Francis offered his prayers for the thousands of victims of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey on Wednesday and called on the international community to continue to support rescue and recovery efforts.
“I am praying for them with emotion and I wanted to say that I am close to these people, to the families of the victims and everyone who is suffering from this devastating disaster,” he said.
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“I thank those who are offering help and encourage everyone to show solidarity with these countries, some of which have already been battered by a long war,” he added at the end of his weekly audience in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.
Families in southern Turkey and Syria had spent a second night in the freezing cold as overwhelmed rescuers raced to pull people from the rubble two days after a massive earthquake that killed more than 9,600 people.
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Death toll rises above 16,000 in Turkey, Syria earthquakeThe death toll from a massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria climbed above 16,000 on Wednesday, as rescuers raced to save survivors trapped ... Middle East
Syria earthquake: Newborn found under rubble with umbilical cord attached to dead momA newborn baby was rescued from underneath the rubble of a destroyed home with her umbilical cord still attached to her dead mother, hours after a ... Middle East
Turkey’s President Erdogan arrives to earthquake-hit regionTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an update on the casualty figures during a visit to Kahramanmaras, a southern Turkish city at the ... Middle East