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Pope offers his closeness to victims of Cyclone Freddy

Cyclone Freddy wreaks havoc and kills hundreds in Malawi (AFP or licensors/Vatican News)

Pope Francis offered his closeness to the victims of Cyclone Freddy in Malawi, during his General Audience on Wednesday.

"I am close to the people of Malawi, hit in recent days by a very strong cyclone," the Pope said.

Freddy Cyclone hit southern Malawi and Mozambique on Saturday night.

Quoting the local authorities, the Associated Press reported on March 16 that the Freddy Cyclone killed at least 225 people in Malawi's southern region, and 88,000 people were displaced. In Mozambique, officials said at least 20 people died, and over 45,000 sought shelter.

"I pray for the dead, the injured, the displaced. May the Lord support the families and communities most tried by this calamity," Pope Francis stated.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera declared a state of disaster in ten southern districts on Monday.

Declaring a state of disaster is part of an appeal for national and international assistance for the cyclone Freddy's victims. - With inputs from Vatican News


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