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Pope prays for typhoon victims in Philippines

Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims of Typhoon Ulysses that left at least 69 people dead and affected around 1.7 million Filipinos.

The 83-year-old pontiff extended his solidarity with the affected Filipinos in his official Twitter account @Pontifex.

The Pope said, “I am near in prayer to the dear people of the #Philippines who are suffering because of the destruction, and especially because of the flooding caused by a strong #typhoon.”

“I express my solidarity to the poorest families and those who are doing all they can to help them,” he added.

The Pope posted the tweet after receiving reports of widespread flooding in various provinces in Luzon due to typhoon Ulysses that forced people to climb to their roofs as floodwaters inundated their homes.

There were also those who evacuated their homes to live in temporary shelters, while others were buried by landslides.

Five cyclones struck the Philippines in a span of two weeks, including Super Typhoon Rolly, the world’s most powerful this year.

Pope Francis also offered his support to all those working to help the victims.

CBCPNews reported that last Nov. 13, the Holy Father received in private audience Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, at the Vatican.

Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Philippine Catholic Church, earlier launched a global appeal to aid those affected by the calamities. It also called on government to seek international aid, saying the country cannot do it alone.

“The nation is in a quandary,” said Fr. Antonio Labiao, executive director of Caritas Philippines. “It is clear that we cannot do this alone.”

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