Townsville’s Bishop, Tim Harris, received a message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Pope.
The Cardinal’s message wrote:
“Having learned of the loss of life and destruction of property caused by the heavy flooding in Townsville, the Holy Father assures you of his heartfelt solidarity and prayers for all those affected by this disaster. His Holiness prays especially for the repose of the deceased, the healing of those injured, and for the important work of reconstruction. Upon all, Pope Francis willingly invokes abundant blessings of consolation and hope.”
Bishop Harris said the Pope’s message was encouraging for those affected by the disaster.
“Receiving this message should be a powerful message to all people in the community, knowing that Pope Francis is praying for all victims of this weather we have received in the past week,” he said.
“There are so many families who have lost everything. As I drive to my house which also received nearly 60cm of water through the entire property, it is heartbreaking to see the contents of their houses sitting on the street.”
Of the 1,500 homes assessed so far, 738 are severely damaged and 252 have been deemed uninhabitable.
Several Townsville suburbs are still flooded as rain continued to fall through Thursday afternoon.
Bishop Harris praised the efforts of the Townsville City Council, defence forces, police, emergency services and volunteers who have supported those affected throughout the ordeal.