Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — All wards and branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippine areas hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan have resumed holding Sunday services, according to a report by the church’s welfare department.
Thirty-eight members of the LDS Church died when the typhoon made landfall in the central Philippines on Nov. 8. Seven Latter-day Saints remain missing. All LDS Church missionaries are safe.
The Philippines emergency management agency reports 5,500 people are confirmed dead, more than 26,000 are injured and more than 1,700 are still missing.
The storm damaged or destroyed more than 1.1 million houses and displaced more than 3.3 million people.
Typhoon Haiyan made landfall as a category-5 storm with winds reaching 200 mph. The wind and heavy rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, particularly in the Samar and Leyte provinces of the Philippines.
The storm damaged 62 LDS Church buildings, according to the welfare report. A total of 29 meetinghouses continue to be used as evacuation centers for 987 individuals. Two transient bishops have been called to provide support to evacuees from hard-hit areas.
Water and power systems in the disaster area are gradually returning, but it will take months to return to normal, according to the report. Fuel is becoming more available.
In the days and weeks after the storm, the church sent basic relief supplies to the community — including food, water, blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, clothing, cooking supplies and water purification units. In addition, the church is working with international partners to consider collaboration on shelter, livelihood and other initiatives in the weeks to come.
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