Pope ‘saddened' by Chilean quake

2014-04-03 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Northern Chile was hit with yet another powerful earthquake late Wednesday, prompting evacuations and tsunami alerts along the coast and in neighboring Peru. No deaths or casualties were reported as a result of the 7.8-magnitude quake and, by Thursday morning, the tsunami alerts were called off.

But it still left Chileans emotionally rattled having followed so closely on the heels of Tuesday’s 8.2-magnitude quake, which killed six people and damaged close to 3,000 homes.

Responding to the human loss and physical destruction caused by Tuesday’s quake, Pope Francis sent a telegram to Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, archbishop of Santiago, expressing his affection and closeness to the Chilean people.

The Pope said he was “very saddened by the news of the earthquake” and the deaths and damage that resulted.

“I pray that God will grant eternal rest to the people who died, consolation to those who experienced the effects of such misfortune and, at the same time, inspire hope in everyone to face adversity,” he wrote.

He asked Christian communities, civil society groups and all people to of good will to offer effective help, “with a generous spirit and fraternal charity”, to all those affected by the quake. The Pope concluded his message by invoking the protection of Our Lady of Carmel on the Chilean people and imparting to them his blessing.

Chile is one of the most earthquake-prone areas in the world and holds the record for the most powerful earthquake in modern history—a 9.5-magnitude quake in 1960.

Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: