Following his Angelus last Sunday, Pope Francis turned his thoughts to “the peoples of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, who were hit by a strong earthquake”.
The Pope extended prayers to Indonesia after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake left 78 people dead and more than 800 others injured in the country’s island of Sulawesi on Friday, January 15. (Read: Indonesian Police Kill Suspects Linked to Jolo Church Bombing)
“I pray for the deceased, for the wounded, and for all those who have lost their jobs”, the Pope said after his Angelus. He also prayed that “the Lord might console them and console all those trying to bring them help.”
Telegram From the Pope
On Friday, Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolences to Indonesia’s apostolic nuncio. This is to express his “heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this natural disaster.” (Read: Pope Francis Leads Prayers for Victims of Lebanon Explosion)
The telegram, signed by the Secretary of the Vatican City State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, states that Pope Francis “prays for the repose of the deceased, the healing of the injured, and the consolation of all who grieve.”
“In a particular way, he [Pope Francis] offers encouragement to the civil authorities and those involved in the continuing search and rescue efforts.” He is “saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of property caused by the violent earthquake in Indonesia,” the letter states.
At around 1:28 am on January 15, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the western side of Sulawesi Island. The incident left 300 houses damaged and 15,000 families homeless, according to the Indonesian Agency for Disaster Management. (Read: A Look Into the Aftermaths of the World’s Worst Tsunamis)
As of writing, local search and rescue teams are working around the clock in search of survivors who may still be trapped in collapsed buildings. The area is also a COVID-19 red zone, prompting concerns about a possible ‘superspreader’ amid the disaster.