Supplies and Sunday Services Return after Typhoon Haiyan

Contributed By By Sarah Jane Weaver

  • 10 December 2013

Article Highlights

  • Thirty-eight members of the Tacloban stake are reported dead, and seven Latter-day Saints remain missing.
  • Twenty-nine meetinghouses continue to be used as evacuation centers for 987 individuals.
  • All wards and branches in the most impacted areas have begun holding Sunday services.

The Church has confirmed that 38 members of the Taclaban Philippines Stake died when Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines on Friday, November 8, according to a Church welfare report. Seven Latter-day Saints remain missing.

The Philippines emergency management agency reports that 5,500 people are confirmed dead, more than 26,000 are injured, and more than 1,700 are still missing as search and rescue efforts continue. All missionaries are safe.

The storm damaged or destroyed more than 1.1 million houses and displaced more than 3.3 million people.

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan made landfall as a category 5 storm with winds topping 200 mph. The wind, storm surge, and heavy rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, particularly in the Samar and Leyte provinces of the Philippines.

The storm damaged 62 Church buildings, according to the welfare report. A total of 29 meetinghouses continue to be used as evacuation centers for 987 individuals. Two transient bishops have been called to provide support to evacuees from hard-hit areas.

Water and power systems in the disaster area are gradually returning, but it will take months to return to normal. Fuel is becoming more available. All wards and branches in the most impacted areas have begun holding Sunday services.

In the days and weeks after the storm, the Church sent basic relief supplies to the community—including food, water, blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, clothing, cooking supplies, and water purification units. In addition, the Church is working with international partners to consider collaboration on shelter, livelihood, and other initiatives in the weeks to come.