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Pope to visit those affected by Italy earthquake

Mon 29 Aug 2016
By Marcus Jones

Pope Francis says he will visit the area of Italy struck by a deadly earthquake to bring people there the "comfort of faith".

The pontiff led prayers on Sunday for those affected by Wednesday's powerful earthquake that killed at least 291 people.

Giorgio Onorati/ANSA via AP Photo

 

Speaking to the thousands gathered at his weekly Sunday address at St Peter's Square, he said: "Again, I tell those dear populations that the church shares their suffering."

He said he plans to visit as soon as possible but did not specify a date.

Italian Finance Police Guardia di Finanza via AP

 

Meanwhile Italian authorities say they will investigate whether negligence played a part in the high death toll.

Prosecutor Giuseppe Saieva, based in the nearby provincial capital of Rieti, said the high death toll "cannot only be considered the work of fate".

He added: "The fault lines tragically did their work and this is called destiny, but if the buildings had been built like in Japan they would not have collapsed."

On Sunday, Italy's national museums raised funds for those affected, donating their proceeds to relief and reconstruction efforts in the quake-stricken areas.

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