The Church donated $25,000 to help victims of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb. 22, killing more than 100 people and leaving others entrapped in rubble throughout the city. The earthquake follows a 7.2 earthquake that struck the area last September.
The quake hit New Zealand’s second-biggest city on a busy weekday afternoon, collapsing buildings, burying vehicles under debris and sending rescuers scrambling to help trapped people.
No members or missionaries were killed or seriously injured in the disaster, which destroyed the homes of 17 LDS families from four wards, according to a Church welfare report.
Church leaders are continuing to investigate various ways the Church can help and comfort those impacted by the earthquake.
Elder Tad R. Callister and his counselors in the Pacific Area Presidency, Elder James J. Hamula and Elder Brent H. Nielson, issued a statement on Feb. 23, praising the quick response of government and local Church leaders.
“We extend our love and sympathy to families and individuals who are grieving, …” they wrote in the statement. “We in the Pacific Area Presidency, along with many others throughout New Zealand and overseas, continue to pray for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones; for those who are injured and suffering; for the elderly and children who are especially traumatized; for Civil Defense, rescue and medical workers, and for all others impacted by yesterday’s earthquake. We invite members of our Church to join with us and those of other faiths to pray to God with all of our might that lives may be saved, wounds healed, hearts comforted and families united in safety. As a church bearing the name of Jesus Christ, we will continue to do as the Savior would have us do. We will work with government and other groups to bring help, healing and hope to those affected by this disaster.”