(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has expressed his closeness and grief for the victims of a landslide that engulfed a village in Sichuan province in south-western China.
Speaking on Sunday after the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peters’ Square, the Pope said “I am close to the population of the Chinese village of Xinmo that was struck yesterday morning by a landslide caused by heavy rains”.
“I pray for the dead and for the injured, he said, and for those who have lost their homes. May God comfort affected families and sustain rescuers.”
Meanwhile almost 100 people remain missing after the huge landslide buried homes in Xinmo and hopes of finding survivors are fading.
The bodies of fifteen people have so far been recovered, but many more are feared trapped beneath the rubble.
Thousands of rescuers were deployed after some 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county.
Emergency workers have been digging through earth and rocks for a second day, with rescue dogs scouring the debris for some 93 people who remain unaccounted for.