Salt Lake City — Three people are reported dead and thousands are homeless after Cyclone Evan battered Samoa and American Samoa Thursday. Evan is one of the most powerful storms to hit the islands in 20 years.
Homes, businesses, and other infrastructure received heavy damage. Many communities are without water and power. In lower elevation areas, heavy flooding has been reported. Church buildings are being used to shelter thousands in affected communities.
The Apia Samoa Temple suffered minor damage in the storm on Thursday. All Church missionaries are safe and accounted for.
Local Church leaders are assessing needs and are assisting communities with basic relief supplies and as well as working with government and humanitarian organizations. More supplies are slated for delivery in the next few days as the Church continues to monitor the situation and identify how to best help the people of Samoa.
La Paz’s Departmental Legislative Assembly recently honored the Church for its ongoing tradition of charitable service both in the city and across the entire Andean nation. The award lauded the Church and its members “as an institution and living example of valued humanitarian aid.”