Pope Francis on December 23, 2018, offered prayers for the victims of the massive natural disasters that struck Indonesia on December 22. According to Indonesia’s disaster management agency, the death toll is currently at 222 people dead with 843 injured and 28 missing.
The Holy Father’s appeal came after praying the noonday Angelus with a crowd of the faithful estimated at 20,000 gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“My thought goes at this moment to the populations of Indonesia, affected by violent natural calamities, which caused gave losses in human lives, numerous displaced and homeless and enormous material damages,” Pope Francis said. “I invite all to join me in prayer for the victims and their dear ones. I am spiritually close to the displaced and all the people tried, imploring from God relief in their suffering. I make an appeal so that these brothers and sisters are not lacking our solidarity and the support of the International Community.”
The volcano that erupted is in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, linking the Indian Ocean and the Java Sea. It erupted a few minutes before the tsunami.