At the end of his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis appealed to the faithful present to pray for those affected by the recent earthquake that struck Iran and Pakistan.
A 7.8 magnitude quake struck the border between the two countries, killing 34 people and injuring almost 80 in the Mashkel district of Balochistan province in Pakistan. There have yet to be reports of causalities and damages in Iran.
According to Vatican Radio, seismologists have said that the earthquake was the strongest to hit Iran in over 50 years. Towards the end of his address, Pope Benedict stated that he “learned with sadness” of the quake that brought “death, suffering, and destruction.”
“I raise a prayer to God for the victims and for all those who are in pain and I wish to express my closeness to the Iranian and the Pakistani people,” the Holy Father said.