At least 13 people died in the Philippines after a tropical typhoon struck the islands on Christmas eve. While rescue authorities launched a search and rescue operation, Pope Francis in Vatican prayed for the victims.
“I join in the pain that affected the dear people of the Philippines because of the typhoon Phanfone. I pray for the numerous victims, for the injured and for their families. I invite everyone to recite the Ave Maria with me for these people I love so much. “
More than 58,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm, which caused widespread property damage, and more than 15,000 were stranded at ports when ferries were suspended. Scores of flights were cancelled.
An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, with storms becoming fiercer in recent years.