In the telegram sent on his behalf by the Secretary of State, Pope Francis expressed his sadness at the news, and expressed his spiritual closeness to those affected, and their families. The Holy Father also encouraged civil authorities and church institutions, as well as people of good will, to offer their help in a show of Christian solidarity.The government has declared three days of mourning in the wake of the disaster. President Cristina Kirchner visited the flood zone, and promised to send more police to in order to keep looters at bay.
Around 2500 people have been forced from their homes, with many of them being housed in emergency shelters.
Below find a translation of the telegram sent on behalf of Pope Francis by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
His Excellency Mario Aurelio PoliArchbishop of Buenos Aires
Pope Francis, deeply saddened by the news of the serious damage caused by the torrential rains over the past days, offers prayers to the Lord for the eternal rest of those who died, at the same time wanting to express his paternal, spiritual closeness to all those affected and their families.
Likewise, the Holy Father encourages civil and ecclesiastical institutions, as well as all people of good will, to provide in a spirit of charity and Christian solidarity the necessary help those who have lost their homes or personal belongings. With these sentiments, the Supreme Pontiff imparts to those affected and those who come to their assistance the comfort of his Apostolic Blessing, as a sign of his closeness to the dear people of Argentina.