Pope Francis prays for Japan amid deadly flooding

Houses sit partially submerged in floodwater in Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan, July 9, 2018. Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images.
Houses sit partially submerged in floodwater in Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan, July 9, 2018. Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images.

.- Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to Japan Monday following the death of at least 119 people in some of the worst flooding and landslides the country has seen in decades.

Heavy rains and flooding began July 5, and have primarily affected the Hiroshima prefecture.

A July 9 telegram expressed Pope Francis’ solidarity with those affected by the tragedy and noted his prayers, “especially for the repose of the deceased, the healing of those injured and the consolation of all those who grieve.”

Sent on behalf of the pope by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the letter said Francis is “deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and of the injury” caused by the floods.

The pope also invoked “abundant blessings,” and offered his encouragement to everyone assisting victims of the disaster and the civil authorities and those involved in efforts to uncover the nearly 80 people estimated to still be missing.

In the midst of their rainy season, record-breaking rainfalls in western Japan have resulted in massive flooding and landslides, killing hundreds and displacing thousands from their homes.

According to the BBC, as of Sunday around 3 million people had been advised to leave their homes and about 1.5 million ordered to do so. The Hiroshima area was the hardest hit, though 11 prefectures have been badly affected.

It is considered the worst flooding disaster the country has seen since 1983.