Mormon volunteers on the Philippine islands of Bohol and Cebu are working alongside their neighbors to rebuild damaged communities two weeks after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck. The 15 October quake is the strongest to hit the central Philippines in 23 years.
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More than 1,000 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers are assisting with cleanup and relief efforts. Volunteers have been working with local government agencies to assemble 10,000 food kits and 8,200 hygiene kits. Three Mormon meetinghouses have been used as shelters. To date, the Church has provided 100,000 pounds of supplies — including food, water, blankets, hygiene kits and tools — to the relief effort.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is also helping communities with water purification, temporary shelters and latrine facilities and is building temporary classrooms for an elementary school.
Church leaders including Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy and other local Church leaders joined with Bishop Leonardo Y. Medroso of the Catholic Diocese of Tagbilaran in offering support and assistance to Governor Edgardo Chatto of the Bohol province in a 27 October meeting.
More than 200 people died, 13,000 homes were destroyed and 3 million people were affected, with more than 370,000 people displaced by the earthquake. Electrical power has been restored to most areas.
The Church reports missionaries serving in the impacted areas are safe along with Latter-day Saints.