Following the tragic floods that swept eastern Libya, Pope Francis voiced profound sorrow for the lives lost and devastation caused.

“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the immense loss of life and destruction caused by the flooding in the eastern part of Libya. He sends the assurance of his prayers for the souls of the deceased and all who mourn their loss,” expressed a telegram dispatched on Sept. 12 to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the Vatican’s representative in Libya.

This devastating flood disaster in Libya was triggered by the intense rains of Storm Daniel. The storm’s aftermath saw the collapse of two dams near Derna, a city in eastern Libya. The deluge obliterated a significant portion of the city, leaving countless devastated. At present, reports suggest an alarming death toll with around 1,500 confirmed deaths and approximately 10,000 people missing. The BBC cites Tamer Ramadan, the head of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Libya, predicting the ultimate toll to be “huge.”

In response to the calamity, the global community has rallied to assist Libya, with the Catholic Church being at the forefront. The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, a pivotal aid agency of the Church in England and Wales, shared their heartfelt grief for the tragedy. Libya’s tumultuous political climate, marked by years of conflict and compounded by climate change, makes recovery even more challenging. Despite these hurdles, international relief organizations, including those affiliated with the Catholic Church, are gearing up to provide crucial aid.

Bishop George Bugeja of Tripoli shared his perspective with OSV News, “For the time being, we are praying and keeping all in God’s mercy.” His remarks reflect the widespread sentiment and commitment of the Catholic community to stand in solidarity with the Libyan people during these testing times.

Pray for the all the victims! 🙏

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