Pope Francis sent messages of condolence to people in Iran and Iraq after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake killed more than 400 people, mostly in Iran.
The pope ‘assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity,’ said the nearly identical messages, released on Monday 13th November.
‘In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the almighty,’ said the telegrams, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
As he often does in emergencies, Pope Francis also asked for the ‘blessings of consolation and strength’ for first responders and civil authorities.
The US Geological Survey said the 12th November quake was centred 19 miles outside Halabja, Iraq. It was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast.
Picture: A man reacts following an earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran. The 12th November earthquake killed more than 400 people and injured more than 6,000 in Iran and Iraq. (CNS photo/Tasnim News Agency via Reuters).