Pope expresses 'solidarity' with flood, quake victims

Agence France Presse

Posted at Aug 12 2012 07:17 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2012 03:17 AM

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday expressed solidarity with the victims of natural disasters in Iran, the Philippines and China which have claimed hundreds of lives.

"My thoughts at this moment are with the Asian populations, especially those in the Philippines and the People's Republic of China who have been hit by torrential rain," he said at his summer residence south of Rome during Angelus prayers.

Floods in the Philippines have claimed at least 85 lives while at least 16 people have died in China in the wake of Typhoon Haikui, which left a trail of devastation in the country's east.

The pontiff also spoke of people "in the northwest of Iran who are victims of a terrible earthquake."

Hundreds of villages were flattened by twin earthquakes on Saturday killing at least 227 and leaving 1,380 injured.

"These events have claimed numerous victims and injured many, led to thousands being displaced and caused serious damage," the pope said.

"Our brothers have our solidarity and our support," he said, calling on those gathered for the Angelus to pray for the victims and those affected by the disasters.