Pope prays for victims of flooding in Thailand, Italy

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By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern for those hit by extreme flooding in Thailand and parts of Italy.

“I wish to express my closeness to the people hit by serious flooding in Thailand, as well as in Italy” where heavy rains caused extensive damage in parts of Liguria and Tuscany, he said after praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 30.

“I assure them of my prayers,” he said.

As of Oct. 31, more than 380 people were confirmed dead in Thailand as a result of flooding that began in the North in early August. The flooding has affected an estimated 2.8 million households.

Italy declared a state of emergency Oct. 28 after torrential rains killed at least nine people. Storms along the northwestern coast of Liguria and Tuscany triggered mudslides and flooding, which caused significant damage, news reports said.