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Pope Francis Extends Prayers and Support to Morocco in Wake of Devastating Earthquake

In a heartfelt gesture of compassion and solidarity, Pope Francis has publicly expressed his condolences and offered his prayers to the people of Morocco, who are grappling with the aftermath of a devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the mountainous region south-west of Marrakesh. 

The quake, which struck on Friday night, has left a trail of destruction in its wake, with thousands of lives lost and countless others affected. 

Just one day after conveying his sorrow through a telegram, the Pope shared his sentiments during the Angelus prayer on Sunday, demonstrating his unwavering support for the Moroccan people during this trying time.

Speaking from the heart, Pope Francis began by expressing his profound closeness to the “dear Moroccan people,” emphasizing his spiritual connection to their suffering and loss. His words carried the weight of a global community standing together in grief.

With deep empathy, the Pope prayed for the injured, the “many people” who have tragically lost their lives, and their grieving families. His call for unity in prayer resonated with the faithful and extended an outpouring of love and compassion to those who are enduring unimaginable pain.

Acknowledging the heroic efforts of rescue workers and those who are tirelessly working to alleviate the suffering of the afflicted, Pope Francis expressed gratitude for their unwavering dedication to helping others in their darkest hours. He implored that the “concrete aid of everyone” would provide much-needed support to the Moroccan people as they navigate this harrowing chapter in their history.

As he concluded his address, Pope Francis issued a heartfelt invitation to people around the world to stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco. His words served as a reminder of the interconnectedness of humanity, urging everyone to come together in support of those in need.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Morocco, dedicated rescuers continue their tireless efforts to locate survivors buried beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings. The urgency of their mission cannot be overstated, as the first three days following a natural disaster are a critical window for finding survivors, according to relief organizations.

As of Sunday afternoon, local time, the toll from this devastating earthquake stands at a staggering 2,012 people killed and 2,059 injured. The scale of the disaster has prompted an all-hands-on-deck response from both local and international relief agencies.

In a significant development, the Moroccan army has successfully cleared one of the main roads leading to the earthquake’s epicenter, overcoming landslides that had previously blocked the route. This crucial achievement now allows essential assistance to reach those who desperately need it. The international community has also stepped up its support, with the Red Cross pledging $1.1 million from their Disaster Response Emergency Fund to bolster the ongoing rescue and relief efforts.

Distressing video footage captured by drones has revealed the heartbreaking scenes of ancient villages near Marrakech reduced to rubble. These once-vibrant communities now lie in ruins, a stark testament to the destructive force of nature. In the face of such devastation, the resilience of the Moroccan people shines through as they come together to support one another.

Fearful of aftershocks and anxious for their safety, many Moroccans have chosen to sleep outdoors, taking refuge on the streets or in open fields. The immediate need for shelter, food, clean water, and medical assistance is paramount as thousands grapple with the trauma of their disrupted lives.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that over 300,000 people in Marrakesh and its outskirts have been profoundly affected by the earthquake.  

In Pope Francis’s message of solidarity, we find a powerful reminder that, in the face of tragedy, humanity’s capacity for compassion knows no bounds. As Morocco fights the immense challenges brought about by this earthquake, the world stands together, offering prayers, support, and the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

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