Flooding triggered by typhoon Ketsana that devastated Manila and surrounding areas Sept. 26 left 12 Church members reportedly among the dead and another 14 missing, according to a Church statement issued Sept. 30.
Eleven members were reported dead in the Morong Philippines District and one in the Valenzuela Philippines Stake.
A total of 25 meetinghouses were flooded while 25 others served as evacuation centers to more than 300 people, including victims who are not members of the Church. It is feared the number of casualties will rise as priesthood leaders receive more reports from previously isolated places.
All full-time and couple missionaries were safe and accounted for. The Manila Philippines Temple was not affected. There was some damage to the Manila Beehive Clothing and distribution center.
A day after the torrential rain, members of the Church, many gathering after sacrament meetings, pooled their resources to donate food, clothes, blankets and towels to those displaced by the floods.
The Church provided food, water, clothing, hygiene items and other relief supplies to victims of the flooding.
Outside Metro Manila, unaffected stakes and districts also sent help. In the northern province of Pangasinan, where typhoon Chan Hom made landfall last May 7, members — many still living in makeshift houses or staying with relatives — surprised their leaders by giving generous donations.
Alaminos Philippines District President Porferio Balute Jr. said even children gave their school allowance.
"Though we did not receive any instructions at that time, we feel that we have the obligation to help our needy brothers and sisters affected by typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila, following the Savior's example," he said. "The overwhelming response of our members is a humbling and learning experience for us. Indeed, it doesn't take a lot of wealth to help others."
Rescue and relief operations had been hampered by floodwaters that remained for days while damaged communication lines were unreliable.
Elder Benson Misalucha, Area Seventy and the Church's Philippines Area welfare manager, said: "We all need to realize that these are times when we can exemplify the power of faith and prayers. No matter how difficult things become, the gospel of Jesus Christ can see us through."
Aside from the immediate need of those in evacuation centers, local Church leaders and members are also planning for the longer-term needs of cleaning up and helping provide shelter. Donations will also be made to victims who are not members of the Church through non-government organization partners.
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October 3rd :Saturday General Conference; 11:00 & 3:00
October 3rd :Saturday Priesthood Telecast 7:00pm
October 4th :Sunday General Conference; 11:00 & 3:00
October 7th :Leadership Training @ Stake Center