Pope prays for dead and consolation for grieving

MATARAM, Indonesia (AP) — Pope Francis has expressed great sadness over the loss of life and destruction of property caused by Indonesia’s quakes.

In a telegram Monday, Francis also offered his “heartfelt solidarity” for those affected.

The message said he was praying for the souls of the dead and for “the consolation of all who grieve the loss of their loved ones.” Francis also invoked “divine blessings of consolation and strength” upon Indonesia’s people.

Francis offered encouragement to rescuers and others assisting victims.

An earthquake Sunday killed at least 98 people, including some who perished inside buildings that had been weakened by an earlier July 29 quake on the tourist island of Lombok. Rescuers haven’t reached all of the devastated areas and there are fears the death toll could climb.