Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI has reached out to victims of the earthquake that struck eastern Turkey, asking for divine support in rescue efforts.
"At this time our thoughts go out to the people of Turkey, who have been so severely affected by the earthquake which caused grave loss of human life, leaving many missing and causing great damage," he said during Wednesday`s general audience.
A 7.2 magnitude quake on Sunday killed over 480 people, injured in excess of 1,350 and left thousands homeless. Two teachers and a university student were pulled alive from rubble on Wednesday but hope is rapidly fading of finding further survivors.
"I invite you to join me in prayer for the people who have lost their lives, and to remain spiritually close to those who have been so sorely tried. May Almighty God support everyone involved in rescue efforts," Benedict said.