By Josephine Siedlecka
PRAYERS ARE being said around the world and rescuers are rushing against time to find survivors of the earthquake which devastated northern India last Friday.
As the tragedy unfolded this week, Pope John Paul 11 sent several messages expressing solidarity for all the victims, survivors and aid workers and assuring them of his prayers.
At his weekly Angelus prayer on Monday the Pope called on "all people. to unite their moral and material forces to our brothers and sisters so harshly tried get the necessary relief'.
"While I pray for the victims, I assure my closeness with sentiments of deep solidarity, to the Indian and Pakistani people struck by this appalling disaster."
The Pope has also sent a telegram to the Vatican's representative in India in which he said he was praying especially for rescue and aid workers, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support to the stricken population.
Cafod and its sister agencies in the Caritas International network have sent an emergency team to the area to assess needs and set up relief efforts. Caritas is sending more than one million dollars.