Pope Asks Aid for Flood Victims in Caribbean

VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed his condolences to the relatives of flood victims in Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti, and his closeness to those affected.

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Floods caused by several days of heavy rains in the island of Hispaniola left more than 550 dead, with hundreds more missing, authorities said.

In telegrams sent to the apostolic nuncios of the two countries, the Pope confirmed his prayers «for the eternal repose of the deceased» and prayed «to the Lord that he will grant consolation to those affected.»

The Holy Father made an appeal for aid and prayed that God will «inspire sentiments of Christian solidarity in those who can collaborate to remedy the tragic effects of that natural catastrophe,» the Vatican said today.

In the message sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Pope expressed his sympathy «to the families of the deceased» and «his paternal solicitude and spiritual closeness» to those affected.

Many of the victims were around the border town of Jimani, Dominican Republic.

José Gallardo Villares, director of international cooperation of Caritas Internationalis, told ZENIT that on Tuesday the Dominican Republic’s Caritas sent a technician to the hardest-hit area to assess the damage.

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