1138 GMT February 17, 2019
“Pope Francis sent a pair of telegrams to Iraq and Iran on Monday, expressing his condolences for the damage and loss of life caused by Sunday's severe earthquake,” the official broadcasting service of the Vatican 'Vatican Radio' told on Monday, IRNA reported.
“His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the severe earthquake which has struck Iran, and he assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity. In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the Almighty. Upon the injured and the emergency and civil authorities engaged in rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”
The latest reports on the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Kermanshah Province, western Iran and bordering Iraq, on Sunday night, said that it has so far claimed at least 430 lives and injured over 7,460 others.