VATICAN CITY, Holy See - Pope Francis on Wednesday appealed for global solidarity with Turkey and Syria following a devastating earthquake, and thanked those risking their lives to help.
More than 9,500 people have so far been confirmed dead following Monday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake, although experts warn the toll could yet double.
"With emotion I pray for them and express my closeness to those people and those who suffer as a result of this devastating disaster," the Argentine pontiff told his general audience at the Vatican.
"I thank those working to bring help and encourage everyone to show solidarity with those territories already tormented by a long war.
"May they move forward in the face of this tragedy."
Pope Francis had on Monday expressed his deep sadness at the disaster, sending his prayers to the region.