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.
Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed the role of the Church’s global humanitarian outreach efforts at a meeting at the United Nations in New York City on 27 February 2014. The gathering was part of the Focus on Faith series of the Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) Relations and Advocacy Section of the U.N.’s Department of Public Information (DPI).
March 1 is International Wheelchair Day. One of the global initiatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Wheelchair Training and Distribution. LDS Charities, the social arm of the Church has been engaged in wheelchair distribution for 10 years.