By ZENIT Staff

Pope Francis offered prayers Sunday for victims of recent storms in Central America. His thoughts came after praying the noonday Angelus with the limited crowd of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

“I would like to express my closeness to the people of Central America, hit by strong hurricanes,” Francis said. “In particular, I recall the Island of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina, as well as the Pacific coast of the north of Colombia. I pray for all the countries who are suffering as a result of these disasters.”

Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua in mid-November and has been the most powerful hurricane of the year, reported Vatican News. The category five storm comes after Hurricane Eta left at least 200 people dead two weeks earlier as it roared across Central America.

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