Pope Benedict led worshippers in prayers yesterday for those in Syria and victims of Hurricane Sandy which tore through the Caribbean killing at least 66 people.
"I wish to assure those who have been affected by this natural disaster of my closeness and my thoughts, while I invite everyone to prayer and solidarity, to alleviate the pain of the families of the victims and to offer support to the thousands affected by the damage," says Pope Benedict.
Haiti was hardest hit, with 51 dead mostly from flash flooding and mudslides. There was also a prayer for Syria, calling for courage for those striving for dialogue. The prayer was read out in Arabic, which made its debut as one of the official languages at the pope's weekly general audience earlier this month.
It's part of the Vatican's effort to reach out to both Christians and Muslims in the Arab world.
Meanwhile, the streets of Norfolk, Virginia began to flood yesterday as Hurricane Sandy slowly made its way past the coast of Virginia. The Hague area in Norfolk saw streets covered in water making the roads impassable to drivers.
Several building were blocked off to keep water out, forecasters said wind damage, widespread and extended power outages and coastal and inland flooding were anticipated across a broad swath of the densely populated US East Coast when Sandy comes ashore.