Church Update on Earthquake in New Zealand
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck about 20 miles (30 km) northwest of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island early Saturday morning at 4:35 a.m. causing extensive damage.
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His Excellency Husain Haqqani, Pakistan ambassador to the United States, made a brief stop at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters following the Church’s 10 September announcement of humanitarian aid provided to the people of Pakistan.
“On behalf of the government of Pakistan, I would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to President (Thomas S.) Monson, to the leadership, and all the members of the flock for their contribution,” said Haqqani of the 400,000 pounds of food, blankets and relief aid shipped to Pakistan.
Following a meeting with members of the First Presidency, the ambassador spoke to members of the media about the conditions in Pakistan.
“The awareness hasn’t really hit the American public,” he said. “Twenty million people have been affected by the flood. One-fourth of the country is inundated with water.”
Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world when measured by population. Haqqani said eight million children have been displaced, are without health care and in need of immunizations. He also mentioned that 800,000 to one million expectant mothers are affected by “a national calamity of humongous proportion.”
Lynn Samsel, director of Humanitarian Emergency Response for the LDS Church, quoted President Thomas S. Monson when he said, “Striving together, we can feed children, we can provide hope, we can preserve life.”
Said Haqqani, "People of all faiths can work together and need to strengthen each other in times of crisis."
Last week, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shipped ten containers of food items, hygiene kits, medical supplies and other relief aid to Pakistan. While the LDS Church donated the physical goods, Islamic Relief USA oversaw the shipping and distribution.
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