Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the people of Taiwan after two high-magnitude earthquakes devastated the island nation, killing at least nine people and injuring hundreds more.
The pope ‘offers the assurance of his prayers for those who have lost their lives and for those who have been injured,’ read a telegram sent by the Vatican following the earthquakes on 6th and 7th February.
‘As he encourages the civil authorities and emergency personnel engaged in the rescue efforts, His Holiness willingly invokes upon all the Taiwanese people the divine blessings of strength and peace,’ said the telegram, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked the east coast of Taiwan late on 6th February. This initial earthquake caused immense destruction in Hualien, a coastal city, destroying smaller buildings and walls. It even left some skyscrapers and larger buildings leaning at sharp angles.
But almost before anything could be done, a second earthquake slammed the region. The magnitude 5.7 quake was centred in roughly the same area. The Associated Press reported on 8th February that more than 260 people were injured and 10 people remained unaccounted for in Hualien County.
Picture: A building is seen pulled away from its foundation on 8th February following earthquakes in Hualien, Taiwan. Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the people of Taiwan after two high-magnitude earthquakes devastated the island nation on 6th and 7th February, killing at least nine people and injuring hundreds more. (CNS photo/Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA).