Pope urges hope in visit to Peru area devastated by floods

Pope Francis, visiting an area of Peru that was devastated last year by heavy rains linked to climate change and plagued by gang violence, urges people not to lose hope.

TRUJILLO, PERU (REUTERS) - Pope Francis, visiting an area of Peru that was devastated last year by heavy rains linked to climate change and plagued by gang violence, urged people not to lose hope on Saturday (Jan 20).

On his penultimate day in Peru, Francis flew north to the city of Trujillo, near the Pacific Ocean, to say Mass for about 200,000 people on the beach at the nearby oceanside town of Huanchaco.

Trujillo, capital of the region of La Libertad, was hit by major floods after six landslides in less than a week at the beginning of 2017, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

The vast majority of people affected were poor.

The pope descended from his popemobile to bless a 99-year-old blind woman among the crowds of those gathered to meet him in the city and tried on a traditional woolen hat.