The Church reported that all of its missionaries serving in the 21 missions in the Philippines have been contacted and are safe following the devastating loss of life from Typhoon Hayian. The parents of those who had been unaccounted for have been personally contacted.
The Church expressed its love and sympathy to all those affected by this disaster and all the people of the Philippines. Church buildings provided life-saving refuge during the storm and are now serving as shelters and disaster relief sites. The Church is pleased to engage with other relief agencies in the Philippines to address the aftermath of the storm. We are providing food, water, shelter and other life-sustaining resources.
Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines on Friday, Nov. 8.
Seven missions were impacted by the storm. According to Church welfare reports, access into the Tacloban area remains very limited. More than 10,000 members and 4,000 others have sought refuge in 200 meetinghouses, according to the report. There are no reports yet on the status of Church member homes or meetinghouses.
Winds from the storm topped 200 mph. The wind, storm surge and heavy rains caused widespread flooding and landslides. The Philippines government is reporting significant loss of life and severe damage to buildings and infrastructure.
· More than 1,700 people are confirmed dead with thousands more missing as search and rescue efforts continue.
· The Philippines emergency management agency claims that nearly 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon.
· More than 23,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes.
· The Philippines government has mobilized thousands of troops, planes and ships for a large-scale emergency response operation. The U.S. government has pledged full support to rescue and relief efforts.
· Water and power systems have been damaged or destroyed, creating a shortage of clean water.
· Communication is still problematic in the Samar and Leyte areas.
· Debris and downed power lines continue to block roads.
After the storm, the Church provided food, water, shelter and other basic supplies to displaced families. Church leaders in the Philippines Area are procuring transport to send larger quantities of these supplies, along with blankets and tarps, for both members and the community. In addition, the Church is coordinating relief efforts with government and other humanitarian organizations.