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Church Responds to Disasters in Pacific

October 2009

Recent disasters in the Philippines, Samoa, and American Samoa have left hundreds dead and thousands without the necessities of life. Initial reports indicate that 24 Church members in the Philippines and 8 members in Samoa have been killed, with many others missing.

Emergency Relief

In the Philippines, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing food, water, clothing, hygiene items and other relief supplies, which are being purchased locally and distributed to those in the region affected by tropical storm Ketsana. Local Church members and missionaries are assisting with clean-up efforts. Church members in non-affected areas of the Philippines are mobilizing to donate clothing and bedding as Church leaders continue to monitor the situation.

In Samoa, the Church is assessing the situation following the earthquake and tsunami there. Efforts are underway to determine the Church’s humanitarian response including coordination with government and disaster relief organizations.

Communication in both regions has been limited. In the Philippines, missionaries are safe and accounted for. In Samoa, all missionaries have been accounted for with the exception of two local sister missionaries from the Tonga Nuku’alofa Mission serving on the Tongan island of Niuatoputapu, which borders Samoa. Efforts to communicate with people on the island have not been successful. However, Church leaders continue to work with government officials to make contact.

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