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Earthquake relief

Emergency shipment of supplies flown to Peru

After an 8.0 magnitude earthquake — lasting a lengthy two minutes — hit the coast of Peru on Aug. 15, Church officials confirmed that nine members are among the estimated 540 dead, seven of them from the town of Pisco, which is 70 percent destroyed.

A Chilean rescuer works with a sniffer dog in the debris of a building in Pisco, Peru, 250 kms south of Lima, 21 August 2007. The Red Cross on Tuesday more than tripled its aid appeal for survivors of an earthquake that struck southern Peru last Wednesday, killed more than 500 people in Peru, as the UN deployed emergency teams to coordinate the international relief effort. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement that it was now seeking 4.7 million dollars (3.4 million euros) to help 37,500 people over nine months, instead of 1.3 million dollars. A total of 35,000 homes were destroyed in the quake , most of them in Pisco, which was 70 percent destroyed.    AFP PHOTO / ERNESTO BENAVIDES (Photo credit should read ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images)
A Chilean rescuer works with a sniffer dog in the debris of a building in Pisco, Peru, 250 kms south of Lima, 21 August 2007. The Red Cross on Tuesday more than tripled its aid appeal for survivors of an earthquake that struck southern Peru last Wednesday, killed more than 500 people in Peru, as the UN deployed emergency teams to coordinate the international relief effort. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement that it was now seeking 4.7 million dollars (3.4 million euros) to help 37,500 people over nine months, instead of 1.3 million dollars. A total of 35,000 homes were destroyed in the quake , most of them in Pisco, which was 70 percent destroyed. AFP PHOTO / ERNESTO BENAVIDES (Photo credit should read ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Priesthood leaders quickly organized to send help to the hardest-hit areas of Pisco, Ica, and Chincha from resources in Arequipa after learning that a road collapse cut off any immediate relief from nearby Lima.

Church headquarters dispatched a plane from Church headquarters filled with emergency supplies.

Miguel Tenorio, director of Temporal Affairs for the South America West Area, said that in the meantime local leaders provided food, tarps and portable toilets for the victims two days before an alternate route was scheduled to be completed from Lima.

LDS meetinghouses opened to hundreds of members and residents after many were left homeless.

The area presidency is working with officials to provide food and water in community relief centers while survivors rebuild their homes.

Church leaders are already providing tools and materials for members and other residents to help with clean-up efforts as well as reconstruction.

Aftershocks have been a constant threat to rescuers, including three that measured above 4.0 in Lima, reported Brother Tenorio.

Rescue efforts were called off Aug. 20 after the last survivor was recovered Aug. 18, according to the Associated Press. Efforts are now being focused on recovering bodies.

A plane is loaded with some of the cargo containing items for humanitarian aid from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to those in the in need from the Peru earthquake, at  the Salt Lake City Airport, in Salt Lake City, Utah Aug. 20, 2007. Photo by Tom Smart
A plane is loaded with some of the cargo containing items for humanitarian aid from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to those in the in need from the Peru earthquake, at the Salt Lake City Airport, in Salt Lake City, Utah Aug. 20, 2007. Photo by Tom Smart Photo: DESERET MORNING NEWS

Missionaries of the Peru Lima South Mission have been relocated to the city of Lima. Meanwhile, Church Public Affairs is coordinating with the Department of Civil Defense for members and missionaries to participate in service activities through Helping Hands.

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