Some 7,000 people were injured and thousands were left homeless by the Wednesday quake, the most violent to hit the region east of Algiers in 20 years.
In a telegram sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, to Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio in Algeria, the Pope “prays that almighty God in his mercy will receive all the people who died in this tragedy.”
The Holy Father also prays “for the many injured, for all those involved in rescue work, and for all the families affected by this drama, hoping that they will find the consolation they need and especially solidarity.”
Lastly, “the Holy Father presents to the head of state, the government and the relatives of the victims his heartfelt sympathy and assures all the Algerian people of his closeness in this new trial.”
Caritas’ international network has offered Caritas-Algeria humanitarian aid in the emergency.