Pope Francis makes a visit to deadly quake site in central italy
By: Annie Yager, Xiro Xone News October 4, 2016 Updated: 3:17 PM
Pope Francis has made a visit to the site of the deadly earthquake that took 300 lives in central Italy. The pope arrived in Amatrice Tuesday morning, he met with the family members of those killed in the quake in Amatrice and told them he wanted to come sooner but was worried about being a 'bother'. The Pope said he wanted to go alone so he could be 'close to the people'.
“I didn't come earlier so as not to create problems, given your situation. I didn't want to be a bother,” he told residents on Tuesday.
"My visit, perhaps, is more of an obstruction than a help," the pontiff said on his arrival. "I wanted to greet you, but I didn't want to be an inconvenience, that's why I let some time pass."
He went on to say: "I waited for some things to be fixed, like the school, but since the beginning I felt that I had to come to you, simply to tell you that I am close to you, nothing else, and that I pray for you."
Talking through a loudspeaker, Francis told locals: "So many loved ones left us, they died here, under the rubble. Let's pray to the Virgin Mary for them, let's do it all together."
Pope Francis prayed among the rubble of razed houses in the town's "red zone," a heavily damaged area still closed off to the public because it's too dangerous.
On August 24th a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy claimed nearly 300 lives, injured hundreds and left thousands of people either without homes or with homes unsafe to immediately inhabit.
The Vatican's radio reported that the Pope will also visit Arquata del Tronto and Accumoli, two other towns that were devastated by the quake.