Members, Missionaries Safe following Philippine Earthquake
Contributed By By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events, and Kaye Tyapon-Bay, Area Production Manager
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck the Philippine island of Negros on Monday, February 6, 2012, causing severe damage in many villages and communities.
All missionaries and members are safe. At least 22 deaths have been confirmed—most of them in the small village of Planas, where 30 houses were buried under concrete debris. The local Department of Health reports 33 wounded, and more than 82 people are still missing.
The earthquake triggered landslides in several areas and also caused damage to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Water and power have been cut off to several remote towns because of damages.
It is estimated that it will take a couple months before power can be restored in affected areas and before roads and bridges are rehabilitated.
Rescue workers continue to search for survivors throughout the affected area.
Local Church leaders are assisting members affected by the earthquake, and LDS welfare services personnel are on the ground in the affected area working with local priesthood leaders, community leaders, and other response organizations to provide assistance.
A few members have reported minor damage to their homes. Dozens of member families are being sheltered in Church meetinghouses.
Relief goods packed by Saints from the Canlaon branch were provided to 39 families and 17 individuals. Local leaders are engaged in coordination with the local government to determine how the Church can assist the community.
Three Church buildings have sustained minor damage, but there is no damage reported to the temple or surrounding complex in Cebu.
More than 100 aftershocks as strong as 6.2 have continued to shake the area.