Pope urges solidarity with South Asian quake victims

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Wednesday launched an appeal to help earthquake-hit people in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“We remain close to the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan who have been struck by a strong earthquake, which has caused numerous victims and terrible damage” Francis told pilgrims in Rome’s St Peter’s Square.

“May there be no lack of concrete solidarity for these, our brothers,” the pontiff stressed.

He urged prayers for those killed, injured and left homeless by Monday’s 7.5 magnitude quake that struck the remote Hindu Kush Mountains on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

The earthquake killed at least 360 people and injured 2,000 in eastern Afghanistan and in northwest Pakistan where most casualties occurred.