Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by Cyclone Idai, which brought torrential rains and winds of up to 140km/h. across Southern Africa.
In Mozambique, the worst affected country, fears are growing that more than 1,000 people may have died. The cyclone also hit Zimbabwe and Malawi, destroying homes, roads, bridges, and vital crops. An estimated 2.6 million people are in need of vital humanitarian aid to survive the coming days and weeks ahead.
Pope Francis calls for prayer and action
Pope Francis speaking at the General Audience in St. Peter’s on Wednesday 20 March said:
"In recent days, great floods have sowed mourning and devastation in various areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. I express my pain and closeness to those dear people.”“I entrust the many victims and their families to the mercy of God, and I implore comfort and support for those affected by this calamity.”
Prayer for those affected by Cyclone Idai
O Lord, be near to those people now,
as they face devastation and loss.
Stay close to those who are broken-hearted
and hold fast to those whose spirit is crushed.
Lead us and guide us for our hope rests in you.
Inspire us always to reach out
and answer the cries of those in need.
So that those who mourn may be comforted,
those who are frightened find courage,
those who hunger and thirst may be satisfied
and those who are homeless find refuge.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.