SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church continues to assess the status of its members, missionaries and facilities in central Mexico after Tuesday afternoon's 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Puebla, about 100 miles from that nation's capital.
It was the second such powerful quake in that country this month.
"At this time, it's difficult to understand fully the impact, including to church members and facilities," LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Tuesday evening, adding that church leaders are "heartbroken" to see the destruction and suffering of a second earthquake in Mexico in two weeks.
"The Missionary Training Center in Mexico was not damaged, and the missionaries there are safe," he said.
"There are several missions in this region, and mission presidents are working to determine the status of all missionaries. Some have reported that all are safe, while others are still assessing the situation."
Reporting on missionaries, members and church facilities are complicated by damaged communication systems, large distances and travel difficulties, he added.
"Mission presidents will keep families updated as they are able, and we will provide additional details as we learn more," Hawkins said.
"We pray for their safety and invite others to join us in our prayers for Mexico and her people."
Meanwhile, the Mexico Missionary Training Center reported on its Facebook page that all missionaries there were safe following the quake.
"We can see the Lord's hand protecting our missionaries," read the brief text message that accompanied a half-dozen photographs. "We had a practice earthquake drill this morning and during lunch a real earthquake hit.
"Here are photos of the missionaries gathered safely outside after the earthquake," the post continued. "Many knelt to pray for those who were impacted by this quake."
Tuesday afternoon's earthquake resulted in an initial report of 120 deaths, with more expected as rescuers combed toppled buildings, schools and other structures. Scores were reported dead in the state of Morelos, where the epicenter was, with dozens more killed in Mexico City, where some 40 buildings there were reported down.
A powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck in southern Mexico on Sept. 7, resulting in 90 deaths.
Tuesday's quake came on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City that resulted in some 10,000 deaths.
Both the church's statement Tuesday and the MTC's Facebook post were accompanied by Spanish-translated versions.
The church's statement in Spanish:5 comments on this story
"Nos entristece ver la destrucción y el sufrimiento que está ocurriendo como resultado de otro serio terremoto en México. En este momento, es difícil entender plenamente su impacto, incluso entre miembros de la Iglesia o en instalaciones. El Centro de Capacitación Misional en México no ha recibido daños y sus misioneros se encuentran a salvo. Hay varias misiones en esta región, y los presidentes de misión están trabajando para determinar el estado de todos los misioneros. Algunos han reportado que todos están seguros, mientras que otros todavía están evaluando la situación. Esto es complicado debido a daños en los sistemas de comunicación, grandes distancias y dificultad al viajar. Los presidentes de misión mantendrán a las familias informadas como les sea posible y proporcionaremos detalles adicionales a medida que estén disponibles. Oramos por su seguridad e invitamos a otros a unirse a nuestras oraciones por México y su gente."
And the Mexico City MTC's message in Spanish:
"Todos bien aquí en el CCM de México. Interesante mente tuvimos un exitoso simulacro hoy a las 11 y durante el almuerzo un verdadero terremoto. Ningún daño ninguno herido. Todos bien."