Five Chilean Members Die in Mud Slides

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    Five Church members were among those killed in Antofagasta, Chile, when rare heavy rains in the desert area triggered killer mud slides in June.

    More than one hundred Chileans died in the slides. It was estimated that seven hundred people were injured and more than twenty thousand left homeless by the disaster, with at least six thousand homes destroyed or damaged.

    Homes of four LDS families were destroyed, and two more were damaged. Thirty-eight member families lost all of their clothing, furniture, and belongings.

    There were no reports of damage to Church property. Five meetinghouses in the Caliche and Antofagasta Chile stakes were used to house members and nonmembers displaced in the disaster; at one point, there were more than three hundred people being sheltered in Church buildings.

    Roads were blocked by the slides, limiting access to the city. Damage to the water system was extensive, making potable water a scarce and precious commodity.

    The Church’s regional office in Santiago sent shipments of food, water, and other supplies to the city. Members of stakes and districts in other areas of the country, particularly Santiago, also donated food and clothing that were shipped to the homeless and needy in Antofagasta.

    Residents of Antofagasta, Chile, clean mud from a street. (Photo by Patricio R. Ortega.)