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Pope offers prayers for victims of Taiwan earthquake

Emergency rescue workers continue to search the rubble of a collapsed building complex in Tainan (AP)

Pope Francis has offered his prayers and condolences to those killed or injured in the earthquake that hit Taiwan on Saturday.

At least 38 people died after the magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Tainan. According to the BBC, most of the dead were inside the 17-floor Weiguan Jinlong apartment building.

310 people were rescued from the rubble of the building, with 100 of them taken to hospital. However, more than 100 people are thought to still be trapped.

A statement released by the Vatican, signed by secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said “the Holy Father was saddened to learn of the suffering caused by the deadly earthquake.”

The statement added: “(The Pope) sends prayerful condolences to the families of the deceased and injured, as well as to rescue personnel and the civil authorities.

“His Holiness, commending the souls of the departed to the tender mercy of God, invokes abundant divine blessings of consolation and strength upon those who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy.”