Pope France said Thursday he was “deeply moved” by the deaths and damage caused by storm Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
“Deeply moved by the tragic loss of life and the immense material devastation that this natural catastrophe has left in its wake, he prays for the victims and their families, and for all those engaged in the vital work of relief, recovery and rebuilding,” the Argentinian pontiff said in a statement.
His message was conveyed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the number two in the Vatican hierarchy.
Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas, said he “trusts that the immense and immediate needs of so many individuals and communities will continue to inspire a vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation”.
So far, US officials believe at least 33 people to have been killed in storm Harvey, which has left enormous rainfall and flooding in its wake in the country’s fourth-biggest city Houston.