VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Following his catechesis at today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope launched the following appeal:

"In the last few hours another terrible tsunami has struck the coasts of Indonesia, which has also suffered a volcanic eruption, leaving many dead and missing. I express my deepest sympathy to the families of the victims for the loss of their loved ones, and give assurances of my closeness in prayer to all the Indonesian people.

"I also remain close to the dear people of Benin, who have suffered continuous floods which have left many people homeless and living in unhygienic and unsanitary conditions. Upon the entire nation I invoke the blessing and comfort of the Lord.

"I call upon the international community to strive to supply the aid necessary to alleviate the distress of the people who have suffered these disasters".

OP/                                                                                                   VIS 20101027 (160)

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