(Updated 28 October 2011)
The worst monsoon flooding to hit Thailand in half a century has disrupted the lives of more than 12 million people in the country leaving many on an exodus to higher ground. Confirmed deaths are now at 373.
More than 100 Church members have evacuated Bangkok and surrounding regions to escape to higher elevations in the southern part of the country.
According to Michael Smith, president of the Bangkok Thailand Mission, all missionaries are safe and accounted for. Those who were living in low-lying areas have been moved to higher ground.
“Many members have moved upstairs in their homes, away from the cities or to country homes,” said Elder Larry Ogden, a public affairs missionary serving in Thailand with his wife, Judith Ogden.
The Church, which has five districts and one stake in Thailand, has six meetinghouses in Bangkok. So far, flooding has impacted four of those properties. Two additional meetinghouses, including the stake center, have not yet been affected. All Church meetings in the city were canceled 23 October.
“Time will tell if these buildings will be spared,” Elder Ogden said.
Some 2,400 food kits and 4,000 sanitation kits that include hand soap, wash clothes and toothpaste and toothbrushes have been distributed to areas north of Bangkok, where severe flooding continues.
The Church has also purchased 10,000 blankets and other basic relief supplies to assist flood victims and donated 2,000 portable toilets, which helps prevent the spread of disease in heavily affected areas. Some 500 of these toilets and other supplies were dispersed in Lopburi.
The Church is partnering with Thailand's Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the Thai Royal Army to distribute these items.
Read more about the Church's response to Thailand flooding at LDS.org’s Church News and Events page — a news resource written primarily for Latter-day Saints.