Major rainfalls with rapidly rising rivers have affected various countries in Europe.
Pope Francis sent assurance of his prayers and spiritual closeness to the people of Germany with a telegram signed by his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, saying the Pope was “deeply affected” on learning “the news of the severe storm and floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.”
The Holy Father is remembering in prayer “the people who have lost their lives” and is especially praying “for the people who are still missing, for the wounded,” as well as for those whose property has been damaged or destroyed “due to the power of nature.”
To the families who have lost loved ones, the Pope “profoundly participates” in their loss.
“Pope Francis implores God’s help and protection on everyone.”
More than 50 people have been found dead and dozens others are missing due to the flooding. Major rains have caused rivers to surge, leaving whole villages destroyed.
Many people have been rescued off of rooftops and about 200 soldiers in the German army are contributing to the search and rescue operation under way.
There have been at least 8 deaths reported so far in Belgium.