Church Responds to Natural Disasters in Philippines and India

  By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News assistant editor

  • 22 October 2013

Article Highlights

  • The Philippines was struck by the largest earthquake to hit the country in 23 years and India was hit by one of its worst cyclones in 14 years.
  • The disasters have caused at least 118 deaths; all members and missionaries have been reported safe.
  • Church leaders are assessing member and community needs in preparation for response efforts.

All missionaries and members are safe and accounted for after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines island of Bohol on October 15. The disaster is being called the strongest earthquake to hit the Philippines in the last 23 years.

The earthquake, which caused at least 93 deaths in the community, destroyed or damaged several homes of members living in the central Philippines, according to a Church welfare report. The earthquake also caused minor external damage to the Cebu City Philippines Temple and to other Church buildings, according to the report. Other Church buildings are being used as shelters for members displaced from their homes. In the community, the earthquake caused significant damage to roads, bridges, homes, and businesses and disrupted local utilities.

Local Church leaders are assessing member and community needs in preparation for response efforts, according to the report.

The Church is also reaching out to government leaders and other partner organizations in India after Cyclone Phailin struck the nation on October 12. One of the worst storms to hit India in the past 14 years, Cyclone Phailin caused at least 25 deaths and the evacuation of some 800,000 people.

All Church members and missionaries are safe following the storm, which also damaged agriculture, community infrastructure, homes, and businesses, according to the Church welfare report. No damage has been reported to member homes or Church buildings.