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Thousands endure heavy rains while awaiting pope in Ecuador

Thousands endure torrential rains while awaiting Pope Francis at park in Ecuadoran capital

Thousands endure heavy rains while awaiting pope in Ecuador

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis' trip to South America:

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9:35 a.m.

A water-logged crowd estimated by officials at half a million awaits the pope at Quito's Bicentennial Park. Francis will be celebrating the second Mass of his South American tour.

City operations director Cristian Rivera says more than 300,000 faithful spent the night and got doused with a pre-dawn torrential rain. He said paramedics treated more than 20 people for hypothermia and handed out blankets to the crowd.

He said two hydrosuction trucks worked to remove puddles from several inundated sections of the park.

A 59-year-old seafood vendor, Abel Gualoto, rubbed his cold hands and said he didn't mind the discomfort.

"The joy at seeing the pope gives us the warmth we need," he said.

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8:27 a.m.

Pope Francis is beginning the second full day of his South American tour. The 78-year-old pontiff is set to meet with Ecuadorean bishops in Quito before celebrating Mass at the city's Bicentennial Park, a large green space in the area of a former airport.

In the afternoon, he'll address leaders of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador before doing the same with civil society groups in the early evening.

Then later at night, he'll make a private visit to the Church of the Society of Jesus, known locally as Iglesia de la Compania. The Jesuit church is one of the oldest and most known in Ecuador. It houses a painting of the Virgin Mary that was said to shed tears in 1906.


Updated : 2021-09-24 11:55 GMT+08:00