.- Before starting the Angelus prayer today in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his closeness with the people of Bangladesh, who were devastated by Cyclone Sidr this past Thursday, and implored the international community to provide assistance to those who are suffering from the consequences of this calamity.
Government sources report that Sidr has taken the lives of 2,217 people, although local media estimate that the death toll could reach three thousand when the counting is finished in the more remote areas. The Holy Father reminded those suffering that they should turn to Jesus who promised to meet our everyday needs and that they should live "trusting in his loving providence."
The Pontiff expressed his closeness to those who are suffering and launched an appeal for international solidarity, which has already acted to address the immediate need. "
"I encourage every effort to be put into action to provide relief to those brothers who are being severely tested," said the Pope.