Pope Francis expressed his condolences to victims of massive flooding that has affected the Atacama region of northern Chile and landslides in Peru.
An unusual cold front that hit the Andes caused the heaviest rainfall in 80 years. The death toll in Chile is at 14 and 20 are still unaccounted for.
The message, which was sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, expressed the Pope's sadness for the victims, saying that he "asks the Lord to grant comfort and strength to those affected by this misfortune."
"Pope Francis exhorts the institutions and all men of good will to, moved by sentiments of fraternal solidarity and Christian charity, give effective assistance to overcome these difficult moments, and heartfully sends his blessings," the telegram concluded.