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Mormon Helping Hands provide relief after Filipino earthquake

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 1:56 a.m. MDT

More than a thousand Mormon Helping Hands volunteers helped their clean up after the October earthquake that struck the Philippines. (LDS Church) More than a thousand Mormon Helping Hands volunteers helped their clean up after the October earthquake that struck the Philippines. (LDS Church)

SALT LAKE CITY — More than 1,000 LDS Church volunteers in trademark yellow Mormon Helping Hands shirts are providing disaster relief in the Philippines after last month's major earthquake destroyed 13,000 homes and displaced 370,000 people.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck the islands of Cebu and Bohol on Oct. 15 and killed more than 220 people.

Mormon Helping Hands volunteers have participated in assembling 10,000 food kits and 8,200 hygiene kits. The church has provided 100,000 pounds of supplies like food, water, blankets and tools; provided temporary shelters at three meetinghouses; and helped with water purification and construction of latrine facilities and temporary classrooms for an elementary school, according to a news release posted on the church's website.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other general and local church leaders offered assistance to Bohol Province Gov. Edgardo Chatto on Oct. 27.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is helping communities with water purification, temporary shelters and latrine facilities. It also is building temporary classrooms for an elementary school. (LDS Church) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is helping communities with water purification, temporary shelters and latrine facilities. It also is building temporary classrooms for an elementary school. (LDS Church)

More than 660,000 LDS Church members live in the Philippines, where the church has 21 missions. The church reported that those members and the missionaries serving on Cebu and Bohol islands are safe, though some missionaries told harrowing stories about the quake and minor damage was done to the Cebu City Philippines Temple.

The destructive force of the quake created a rocky wall nearly 10 feet tall that stretched at least three miles.

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