POPE FRANCIS has expressed a "deep concern" for those affected by Hurricane Dorian and has spoken of his sadness at the devastation and destruction caused by the storm.
He went on to urge that the international community provide "prompt and effective assistance" for the victims of the hurricane.
The Category 5 storm tore through large parts of northern Bahamas last week and while the proper impact of the hurricane is still to be determined, the current death toll sits at 44, and is expected to rise in the coming days as the recovery process begins.
Francis' words were delivered through Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who sent a telegram on the Pope's behalf to to Archbishop Patrick Pinder of Nassau - the capital of the Bahamas.
"His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the devastating impact Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas, and he expresses his spiritual solidarity and deep pastoral concern to those affected by this catastrophe," wrote Parolin.
"The Holy Father offers heartfelt prayers that Almighty God will grant eternal peace to those who have died and consolation and strength to the homeless, injured and suffering. Expressing his hope that the international community will respond with prompt and effective assistance.
"His Holiness invokes upon all engaged in this massive work of relief and rebuilding the Lord's is of strength and generous perseverance in the service of their brothers and sisters." he added.
The Pope is currently in Mauritius on the last leg of his apostolic visit to Africa which has seen him travel to Mozambique and Madagascar.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall on 1 September on the northwest of the Caribbean archipelago with winds reaching speeds of up to 354 km/h and sea surges of 4 to 7 meters, becoming the strongest tropical cyclone on record.